Track Twenty-One: Blood, Sweat, & Tears

Pulling the earbuds from his ears, Suzaku breathed in deeply before exhaling. He watched his breath curl before his eyes before fading away into the grey of the early afternoon light, when he felt something bump into his shin. He looked down to see a white puppy wagging its tail at him.

“Oh, hello.”
“Liesl!”

Glancing up, Suzaku’s eyes followed the leash before settling on none other than his professor’s husband.

“I’m sorry. She can get so excitable at times.”
“It’s alright. She can jump on me all she wants. She’s really cute.” Bending down, he scratched her between her ears. Barking, she leaned up to lick his face. Suzaku smiled. What an adorable little puppy.

“So her name is Liesl?”
“Liesl vi Britannia-Corabelle.”
“Not quite sure a puppy as small as her can handle a last name as long as that.”

He laughed. “Yes, well, Liesl’s a strong girl. I’m sure she can do whatever she’d like if she puts her mind to it.”

Standing up, Suzaku saw the wedding band on his hand and felt a pang in his lonely heart. Giving a half-hearted smile, he asked if he came to the park often; he did, and it was the first time he’d run into the pair.

“No, but we hope to come here more often. It’s not very far from where we live.”
“Oh, right. I remember now.”

A funny, indiscernible look crossed over the man’s face, and the young man couldn’t help but feel a bit proud. Of course, the moment he felt such glee, he immediately felt shame – how could he be so selfish to want to destroy someone’s marriage? – when he smiled again.

“So I take it we’ll be seeing you often if we come here?”
“Uh… Yeah, I guess.” He scratched his head. “I don’t really come at a regular time, what with classes, and work, and homework, and all these different tests and papers.”
“Ah. Well if we ever do, we’ll be sure to say hello. Good day, Suzaku.”
“Bye.”

Liesl barked one last time before prancing away. Suzaku watched the pair leave for some time before turning back around and wondered if the lady of the household would ever join them and if she did, what she would think of him all sweaty and gross.

Hmm. Maybe he should start rethinking his clothes.

. . .

They saw each other from time to time but it wasn’t until a good few weeks had passed that they spoke to one another beyond a short “Hello.” He saw him from a distance away – without his wife – when suddenly, the man froze, stood as if suspended like a marionette, before tumbling to the ground. Taken aback, Suzaku nearly missed a step but thankfully ran to him instead. Immediately helping him up, he led him to a nearby bench.

“Thank you.”
“Are you okay? What’s wrong?”
“It’s just my knee,” he sighed. “It’s been acting up lately.”
“Do you need to go to the hospital?”
“Just back home. Do you mind helping me up please? I just need to make it out of the park to hail a taxi.”

Nodding, he hoisted him up. They hobbled slowly out of the park, where they found several cabs waiting. But none would take the puppy, as adorable and as friendly as she was, so they had no choice but to struggle their way back to the apartment complex which was, fortunately, close to the park.

Liesl strained against her leash, wondering why her owner was so slow to follow, but other than that and the occasional curious glance from passing strangers, the journey wasn’t as difficult as Suzaku had feared it could be. Along the way, the man had made a phone call; seeing from his tone, he assumed it to be the professor.

Well, that and the fact that he had started the phone call with, “C.C. sweetheart, I’m on my way back home right now with Suzaku.”

Suzaku absentmindedly patted his curls. He hoped he didn’t smell too bad.

But he shouldn’t have worried because when they were about a block away, she appeared before them. Suzaku stared as she shouldered her husband in her cardigan, knee socks, and glasses. He hadn’t known she needed glasses, but apparently she did, and she looked pretty damn adorable in them. The thin wireframe glasses glinted in the weak winter light, making his cheeks color.

Wow.

Leaning on both his wife and a silver cane, the professor’s husband thanked him.

“Oh, I’m just glad I was there to help,” he replied, never once taking his eyes off her, who in turn never took her eyes off her husband, who never once took his eyes off of Suzaku, save for the occasional glance to his wife.

“All the same. I apologize for the inconvenience I must have caused you.”

Suzaku finally turned to face him to see him studying him with a sort of intensity that made him uncomfortable.

“It was nothing.”
“We should get you inside,” she said softly. Even though there shouldn’t have been any particular reason to, he was taken aback by her gentle tone. It was just so different from her usual voice – especially when she was teaching – that he nodded and was about to follow them inside, when Liesl barked at him.

Stumbling back, Suzaku watched with wide eyes as he realized his mistake. Helplessly flailing for what to do next, he blinked at them before quickly ushering Liesl to her parents and then turning on his heel to run away.

He hadn’t been lying when he had said he had been glad that he had happened to pass by, but honestly…

Maybe it would have been better if it hadn’t been him who had helped him home to such an unforgettable sight. It couldn’t have possibly helped, could it? In forgetting his…feelings for her, that was.

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One thought on “Track Twenty-One: Blood, Sweat, & Tears

  1. Sean O'Brien says:

    Weird thought but I wonder what he listens to while going on his jogs. Music or maybe podcasts like I do, though I suppose the former would be more likely. And of course he’d have no problem with her jumping on him as who wouldn’t want an adorable dog coming up to them excitedly 😀 Good that she seems fine around people which of course reflects them putting effort into her training so she can deal with people without issue. It always struck me as somewhat funny that pets tend to take the last names of their family, though of course it was the same with all our pets. Random thought sorry. That’s certainly quite the name though.

    It’s cute he reacts as such to the wedding ring but the boy really is still quite young. Still, he doesn’t even have a girlfriend so I guess it makes sense. Nice to live so close to a park on Lelouch and C.C.’s with the new dog. I do notice Lelouch’s reaction to Suzaku’s comment regarding knowing where their home his which is something that would certainly perk his interest. It is really messed up that Suzaku takes some glee from what he is probably guessing are Lelouch’s thoughts, though at least he recognizes he shouldn’t be responding as such.

    I imagine Lelouch’s change in demeanor is ultimately that he doesn’t consider Suzaku a threat of course or perhaps it’s more of a subtle challenge if that makes any sense. I do find the image of him coming to the park all dressed up in case he runs into C.C. a bit hilarious. Curious about that leg injury still, though I feel like it’s been talked about with how he got it and I’m blanking. Too bad about the cab thing. I guess I get the reasoning but if it’s not too far and she’d just been in the park they could have done it. Leisl being so excited and straining the leash certainly wasn’t making things any easier.

    Kind of silly that Suzaku still is partially wondering if he looks alright given the circumstances but that’s a crush for you. C.C. is quite the knockout and would look cute in glasses I’d think. It is somewhat comical to imagine them all staring at the other, but of course C.C. would have eyes only for her husband. Lelouch on the other hand is getting confirmation on what he likely suspected. Suzaku also is getting a good look at how she is with her husband, which takes him by surprise. He had gotten a small glimpse before, but she was drunk then. Ah well, at least he has a new person to start diverting those feelings to.

    Thank you 🙂

    Like

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