She wasn’t quite sure when she had fallen asleep. Maybe some time during a commercial break, but whenever it was, it had been without her noticing. With her feet propped up on the coffee table and the soft lighting of the living room, she had gotten far too comfortable, and soon enough, she had nodded off. Fortunately for her – and her students – she hadn’t dozed off for long, all thanks to her husband.
He sat in the stool to the computer desk, his glasses perched up on his head as he quietly strummed the ukulele.
She smiled sleepily as he finished his song. She could still remember the first time he had sung it to her; when had it been, their third anniversary? You would have thought that a person who wrote songs for a living would have made a gift of their talents sooner, but because he had never really liked singing, she had had to wait for three years to get one of the most obvious gifts she could possibly receive – not that it made it any less sweeter. It was nice knowing that their song – the song they shared as a couple – was exclusive to them and them only. It made it feel all the more special that it had been written with them in mind, and when he had given it to her, she was embarrassed by how fluttery her heart had gotten. Even now, a full five years after he had first gifted it to her, she still flushed, though, of course, she did her best to hide it.
“You should go to bed.” Standing up, he set the ukulele down by her feet and picked up her fallen red pen. “It’s late, and you didn’t get much sleep last night.”
“I need to finish these.”
“Oh, waiting one more day won’t kill them. Not to mention how I’m sure one or two of your students would be more than happy to live one more day without having to know what they got on their essay,” he added after a peek at the paper she had most recently marked. He took her hand and tried to coax her to bed. Putting an arm around her, he took her hand.
“I was about to head to bed anyway.”
“Is that an invitation I hear? For what reason could you be inviting me to bed, I wonder,” she said slyly.
But he never let go of her, and eventually, she couldn’t help but give in. She was exhausted. She rarely ever fell asleep when she was focused on grading, but there were a few times when it happened, and when it did, she knew it meant that she needed to go to bed. The night before, she hadn’t gotten much sleep because of her dumbass, piece of shit department head, who had insisted that she provide a full, detailed analysis on how she could improve this year’s performance from last year’s. The last time she remembered, she had become the professor to assign essays, not write them. It had taken a full hour of griping and complaining for her to calm down enough to write it so that she could turn it in the next day, though admittedly by the time she had finished, she was too tired to be angry. But at least she had turned it in on time.
“Come on,” he said softly. “It’s time for bed.”
She nodded; she was just too tired to argue. She let him move the pile of papers from her lap before helping her up. She stood unsteadily and leaned on him heavily when he bent down and picked her up with a grunt. Smiling – he really needed to get out more and exercise some – she reached for his cheek to kiss him, when she suddenly felt a sharp pain on the back of her head and heard a rather eloquent, “Oh, fuck.”
“…You know, I could have walked by myself. I never asked you to carry me.”
“Are you okay? How’s your head?” He set her on the cold ground to take her by the shoulders and peer at her, as if doing so would tell him how much of an ass the wall had been to her head. “Do you want some ice?”
“It’s fine,” she muttered. “It’s just a bump on the head, not some concussion. You can stop freaking out now.”
“I’m so sorry, that wasn’t my intention at all.”
She waved him off as she picked herself up from the ground. Rubbing the bump on her head, she took a moment to give him a good glare before turning her nose up at him and marching away. Her husband followed behind with his tail between his legs – it wasn’t the first time he had accidentally hit her head on the wall; there had been plenty of times when he had tried to carry her and had only succeeded in giving her a minor headache. He should really consider wearing his glasses whenever he tried to be Prince Charming – and she said nothing more to him as she brushed her teeth and washed her face. But when they were finally in bed, and he turned the bedside lamp off, she curled up next to him anyway and put her arms around him and returned his kiss because… Well… So what if he had bumped her head on the wall? It hadn’t been the first, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. And as far as she was concerned, a couple bumps on the head was a small price to pay for all the love and happiness he gave her, as… cheesy as it sounded. Not that she would ever tell him, but…
“Good night, Lelouch.”
“Good night, sweetheart.”
Pause. Well… Maybe she should just make sure he knew because, you know, it was better to be safe than sorry.
“I love you,” she said quietly.
An even longer pause. She shivered as his hand slid down to her waist. But not tonight; she was genuinely too tired tonight. But he knew that, didn’t he? He did.
“I love you too, sweetheart.”
She warmed at the smile she heard in his voice.
See? Small price.