Track Twenty: Papaoutai

Neither mentioned the news until they had bid the other couple goodnight and retreated to the cozy depths of the guest room. Arching her neck, she quietly stood as he pulled the zipper of her dress down. Neatly stepping out from the pool of fabric, she tied her hair up before bending over to pick up the dress and hang it over the bed frame.

Unbuttoning his shirt, he shrugged out of it as she brushed by him to brush her teeth. Hanging both his shirt and her dress, he followed her after. She had pushed her hair back with a headband and stood silently as she wiped off all her makeup. Wetting his toothbrush, he stood at the other sink as he carefully and meticulously scrubbed his teeth clean of the day’s feasting.

Spitting out the minty foam, he wiped his mouth clean with warm water. Rinsing out the rest of the paste, he patted his mouth dry with a soft, fluffy towel. Blinking tiredly at his reflection, he reached up to remove his contacts. Eyes dry and vision blurry, he carefully cleaned them before returning them to their case.

Perching his glasses on his head, he rubbed his eyes before sliding them down. Undoing the buckle of his belt, he left the bathroom before undressing. Pulling out his pajamas from a suitcase, he sat on the edge of the bed as he glanced through this email and that. He hadn’t had much time during the day to look at all the messages that people had left him; not that he should be at all. He was on vacation after all, which meant that his time was reserved solely for himself and his wife. But he checked anyway and took a few seconds to quickly reply to a couple before plugging his phone into its charger and turning it face down.

Yawning, he slid beneath the sheets. Propping himself up on the mound of pillows, he briefly considered turning the TV on to see what Australia had to offer him in terms of mindless entertainment, when he saw her in the doorway.

She was wearing a chemise, and for the first time that day, had her hair hanging down her back. He wordlessly held out a hand for her, and she – turning all the lights save for the lamps off – slid in beside him. Using his chest as a pillow, she placed a hand heavily on him and sighed. He gently brushed her cheek.

“…I can understand why it took her so long to tell us,” she said at last. “I would have too if I’d been her.”

He leaned his cheek on her head as he draped his arm over her waist. She glanced up at him.

“I’m fine. Just a little disappointed.”
“We can go home early if you’d like. Milly knows how busy I can get, especially this time of year. We don’t have to stay here for the whole week.”
“It’s alright. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her. Besides,” she added bitterly. “I should be happy for her, not angry. What kind of friend would I be if I were upset? She made me the god-mother.”
“That doesn’t matter. Just because it hurts doesn’t make you a bad friend. It only makes you human.”

She picked at her nails before covering her face with her hands. He kissed the back of her hand.

“Do you think I would have made a good mother?”
“I think you would have made a wonderful mother,” he said softly. “A beautiful, warm, loving mother.”
“I suppose you can’t have everything in the world. Since you have a perfect husband, something else has to go wrong. I suppose it had to be this.”

He only smiled sadly.

“I’m sorry I can’t give you what you want most in the world. If only I had the power… It hurts that I can’t give you everything.”
“It’s not your fault. I wouldn’t have been able to no matter who I was with. I’m just happy it was with you and not anyone else.”

Sniffling, she sat up as she dried her eyes. Sweeping her hair over her shoulder, she glanced at him.

“We should go to bed. Milly wanted to go out for brunch tomorrow, and she’s probably going to try and drag me off to some spin class beforehand.”

Settling down, he watched as she turned the lamp off. In the near darkness, he reached for her. Hugging her, he lay his head on her breast. She fondly patted his head.

“Be nice to Rivalz,” she said softly. “He has a long, hard life ahead of him. Being someone’s father isn’t easy, you know.”
“I’ll treat him as I see fit so long as he keeps making you uncomfortable.”

She smiled. How chivalrous of him.

“I love you, rabbit.”
“I love you too, sweet pea.”

And she closed her eyes.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sean says:

    Well, there is certainly the impression that the news is something that to them isn’t necessarily positive or at least dredges up some bad memories given that the first part of this chapter is just them going through the routine of getting ready for bed without a single word being uttered. Though at the same time that isn’t necessarily a totally bad thing since they don’t seem sad or anything, but rather just a bit tired from the day’s events and we’re just seeing the completely normal end of such a day. Nice they were able to go out traveling to a place like Australia. You know, aside from the multitude of things that can kill you.

    I imagine Milly was a bit hesitant since she knew what it would mean to C.C. or remind her given her own inability to have children. And yeah, it’s understandable why she would feel the way she does about all this given those circumstances even as she tried to be happy. It is sweet that she will be the child’s godmother though. And of course she would have been a wonderful mother. Shame they can never really have that since they don’t appear inclined to adopt either. Curious what Rivalz is doing to earn Lelouch’s ire or if he’s just being insensitive unintentionally.

    Still, at least they have one another to lean on in times such as this.

    Thank you 🙂


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