Humming to himself, Rivalz poked the doorbell before stepping back and waiting. Last night he had been assigned the pleasant task of going all the way to the boss man’s home to pick something up. He wasn’t quite sure why Lelouch couldn’t just bring it with him when he came to work, but who was he to question the decisions of the upstairs folk? Whistling to himself, he glanced over his shoulder and peered down to see the sprawl of the city. You wouldn’t have been able to guess it, but apparently being a restauranteur was quite lucrative. Boss man had a really nice view.
When the door didn’t open, he wondered if anyone was even home or if he had been sent on a fool’s errand. Furling his brows, he indecisively stood in the middle of the hall; should he trying ringing again? Wasn’t there some etiquette on ringing doorbells, something that said that ringing twice was rude? Not that Rivalz was a stickler for manners per se, but he’d heard of the knife story too. He may not be the brightest bulb, but he was smart enough to figure out that his employer wasn’t someone who should be messed with. So should he ring again or…?
He stumbled backwards as the door suddenly swung open and missed his nose by half an inch. Desperately seeking out his balance again, he wildly flapped his arms until he was able to stand with two solid feet on the ground. Indignant (who liked to be made a fool out of?) he was about to tell the person off when he looked up and saw the new cook standing in the doorway wearing nothing but a white towel.
“Can I help you?” she asked innocently as if a thin scrap of fabric wasn’t all that was preventing total nudity. Rivalz swallowed hard as he lost his train of thought. What was he here for again?
“Um…Hello! Remember me?” He nearly smacked himself. Real smooth. Just a fantastic first impression.
“It’s nice to meet you, Rivalz.” She dazzled him with a smile as she offered him her hand. Star struck, he limply took it and shook her hand. “Can I help you with anything?”
“I don’t know; can you help me with anything?”
If he had been paying more attention to her face, he would have seen a flash of irritation cross her face, but he wasn’t paying more attention to her face, so Rivalz gave her a goofy smile. C.C. curled her lips back to mimic, when she felt something come up from behind her. The hairs on her nape standing on end, she looked out of the corner of her eye as a shadow loomed over her from behind.
“What do you want, Rivalz?”
“O-oh, hey, Lelouch…” Still unable to tear his eyes off of the young woman, he smiled. “I, uh… I just came by to pick up the packages? At least I think that’s what I came for… Can’t really remember right now, it’s kind of… weird that I can’t, I’m usually good with this kind of thing…”
He finally gathered enough willpower to look up and almost immediately regretted it. He’d much rather make his view pleasant so that he felt nice and warm inside, not make it so that he felt his blood run cold and he began sweating. Lelouch stood directly behind C.C., towering over her – and to an extent even him – as he leaned on the doorframe and stared at him with a dark look on his face. He wasn’t all too sure if the scowl was for ogling at C.C. or for being slow and wasting everyone’s time, but quite frankly, he didn’t really want to find out.
“Why would I need you to pick them up when I can just bring them to the restaurant myself?”
“Good question. Same one I asked myself.”
An awkward, tense silence filtered into the hallway before Rivalz clapped his hands and nervously laughed by himself. “Well, looks like I came here for nothing. Sorry for wasting you guys’ time. I’ll see you two later.”
“Bye, Rivalz!” called out C.C. sweetly. “I’ll see you in a few hours!”
He gave a half wave as he trotted down the hall. Once he turned the corner, he leaned against the wall and slid to the ground as his legs gave way. Good God, he didn’t know what he had done to receive that blessing-that-was-really-a-curse, but by God did he never want that to happen to him ever again. He still couldn’t shake off the angry vibes Lelouch had been giving off; while it wasn’t the first time he had seen him upset, it was the first time he had seen him seethe like that without good – or at least apparent – reason. Or, well… Maybe there was a good and apparent reason such as ogling at his girlfriend…? Girlfriend? Uh… Well… Hmm…
. . .
“Milly!” Starry eyed, Rivalz preened his feathers as the love of his life slid onto the stool. She smiled at him, effectively taking possession of his complete and undivided attention. Kallen rolled her eyes.
“What are you two talking about?” she asked before popping a cherry into her mouth. Fascinated, the bartender watched as a tied and twisted cherry stem came out.
“Lelouch has a girlfriend or something apparently.”
“Oh, really? And how do you know this?”
“He,” said the redhead while gesturing towards her tongue-tied colleague, “went to Lelouch’s this morning to pick something up, when the new cook answered the door. She was wearing nothing but a towel, and what more—”
“Lelouch looked like a slob!” he blurted out. There was a stunned pause before Milly started laughing. Doubled over, she tightly gripped the edge of the bar so she wouldn’t fall off the stool as she laughed and laughed and laughed. Eventually Kallen sighed, got up, and left, decidedly having had enough silliness for the morning. Rivalz nervously laughed alongside her; was she laughing at him or at what he had said?
“Oh, Rivalz, Lelouch would never have a girlfriend. Trust me, I’ve known him for years. I know him as well as his mother knows him, and let me promise you, Lelouch vi Britannia would never, in a thousand years, have a girl—”
“I wouldn’t be so sure. C.C’s pretty hot. The only reason why a guy wouldn’t go after her was if he didn’t like girls, and honestly, I—”
“Wait a second.” Her smile vanished in an instant. “C.C.? The new cook here is C.C.?”
“Yeah…” Confused, he frowned. “Is there something wrong…? Do you know her or something?”
“When’s Lelouch coming in?”
Rivalz shrugged. “He didn’t say. Should be soon though because we’re about to open.”
As if on cue, the doors swung open and the owner stepped into the building. Looking much more like himself with his buttoned shirt, starched collar, and perfect black slacks, he quietly passed them by before walking into the kitchen. Rivalz stared; he was looking much less angry, but there was also no sign of C.C. even though they had been at the same apartment that morning, so… What was that supposed to mean?
“Why do you think C.C. isn’t…” He realized the emptiness of Milly’s seat. Wilting, he set the tumbler he had been polishing down. So brief was his audience with the perfect woman, it was really just too unfair. But that was alright; the Prince hadn’t found Cinderella by staring at the glass slipper. He had picked it up and put himself out there, had gone out to his kingdom with that slipper until it had found its rightful foot and he his rightful bride. A lot of people could really take a page out of his Highness’s book, he thought as he wandered in the direction of the kitchen. Then maybe there wouldn’t be so many broken hearts in the world.