He stood quietly in the walk-in as he marked things off on the clipboard. Counting things now and then, his breath floated before his eyes, obstructing inventory and reminding him all too well of a week and a half ago when he had been watching a movie with his best friend before his ex (ex) wife had barged in to sleep with him. He wasn’t quite sure whether she had come for the explicit purpose of sleeping with him, but whether or not it had been premeditated, Lelouch couldn’t help but feel confusion whenever he thought back on that night.
Maybe it hadn’t been planned. Maybe it had just been something that had happened under the influence. She had left by the time he had gotten up, so maybe when she had woken up that next morning and realized what had happened, she had left in such a hurry because she had been ashamed of what they had done. If she hadn’t felt that way – if she had felt comfortable with the choice they had made – she would have stayed. She would have asked for breakfast, and she would have taken a shower and tried to make him as uncomfortable as possible before leaving. She wouldn’t have just disappeared without much left to trace her with.
He gently shook his head. He ought to just forget about it. So what if they had slept together? It was about time he released that pressure valve. It’d been building up for some time, and combined with the rest of his life, was starting to make him irritable and frustrated. Better C.C. than some random stranger: at least with his ex-wife he knew that she hadn’t gone around attracting all sorts of STIs. The only partners they had had was each other, so there was some safety in that knowledge. Of course… There was the possibility that she had met some people during her trip, but he highly doubted it. With their son, there wouldn’t have been much time or energy for that kind of thing. Or at least he hoped. For the purpose of avoiding STI contraction, of course. Nothing else really mattered; she could sleep with the entire world if she wanted so long as he didn’t get any infections or diseases.
…Still, the thought made him think back on their first night together. He could still remember quite clearly the moonlight falling on her bare back as she lay beside him, half-asleep, her fingers playing with the ends of his hair before lightly pinching his cheek out of affection as was her habit as he later figured out. Or what of the way she had looked sitting on the bed that was somewhat tight for one person, much less for two people, wearing nothing but his shirt and crumbs from the pizza slice she happily devoured. It was as if he could still taste the unhealthiness when he tasted the grease left on her lips as he stood there and reminisced all the while freezing his ass off in the walk-in.
…And that had just been the beginning, hadn’t it? The start of years to come, of thousands of pizza slices to be eaten and hundreds of grease to taste. Lelouch pursed his lips as he tried to refocus on inventory; he’d never liked pizza anyway. Everyone was always surprised when they found out, though he didn’t really see why it had to be such a common reaction. It wasn’t as if every doctor was a doctor because they wanted to save people. Some did, of course, but some others just did because they liked the paycheck or, like in his personal case, they ended up with that label because it had just happened that way as stupid as it sounded. Life had gone by, and as it had passed him by, he had just found himself going down that certain path and it hadn’t been so bad that he had gone through the trouble of stepping off it. That had been the default, so why change it when things worked out fine?
…Of course, Leopold had been a bit of an unplanned and somewhat premature surprise that neither had been prepared in the slightest for, but Lelouch didn’t think his youth was so great to be considered an equal to his son. If he had to go back in time and choose, knowing all that he did, he’d choose his son a hundred billion times over, even with that odd habit of his where he’d yell and yell until he stumbled upon one of his parents. Ah, well. Hopefully it was a flaw that he’d grow out of.
Sighing to himself, he slid the pen into its little holder. Hanging up the clipboard, he straightened his apron and turned to leave – it was so damn cold in here; why had he wasted so much time daydreaming like a fool? – when the door suddenly opened and he was face-to-face with a complete stranger – which shouldn’t have happened because he should know and be able to recognize, as the owner and manager of the restaurant, everyone who was opening the walk-in.
The two men blinked at one another before the stranger extended his hand with a grin.
“Hi. I’m the new cook.”
The new what?