“I’ve actually got a reason for ringing you.”
“Oh? And what could that be?”
“Are you busy on the 28th?”
“Not particularly. Why? Miss me?”
“I’m, uh… Well, C.C. and I are getting married that day, and we would really appreciate it if you could be there.”
There was an odd sort of pause, and Lelouch glanced over his shoulder to watch his girlfriend – his fiancé – who was hunched over as she carefully painted her toes a pearl white. Turning back to the view of the fire escape, he ran a hand through his hair before rubbing his face.
“If you’re busy, it’s alright if you can’t. We know it’s a bit short notice.”
“No, I can make it. I just… Have you told your mother?”
He pursed his lips. No, he hadn’t. Ever since he had left (fled) from home, he hadn’t really spoken to either of his parents. His father he knew would be infuriated with his disobedience, and his mother always took his side, no matter who was opposing the Duke; regardless of whether he was even right or wrong. It had been some time since he had last spoken to her, and the thought of introducing C.C. to her for judgment – for evaluation and most likely brutal criticism – made his stomach drop and blood boil all at the same time. He knew what it was like to be subjected to treatment like that, and even if it was from his mother whose approval he had sought most of his life so far, he couldn’t put the love of his life through that.
This, Alexei must have realized because he quietly said, “I suppose then the next time I happen to run into her, I won’t be congratulating her on her beautiful new daughter-in-law.”
“No, you won’t be. We plan on having a very private ceremony.”
“In other words, there won’t be a nice young lady I’ll be avoiding the following morning.”
“The only other guest attending is Milly, who so happens to be happily involved with a mutual friend, so no, you won’t be.”
Lelouch could just see his friend lounging in a chair, legs crossed, with that crude smirk he always wore whenever he’d seen another one of the young ladies who’d caught his fancy. Rolling his eyes, he told him off for having such vulgar thoughts when discussing such a sacred and holy rite.
“My apologies. I was unaware you rekindled your connection to the Holy Spirit in the America’s. I never took it for a particularly spiritual place, but to each his own I suppose.”
“Oh, bugger off, you wanker,” said the groom-to-be. His accent thickening, he acidly warned, “You’d better not piss around and ruin this wedding, or else I’ll personally make sure you’re so snookered, you’ll never be on the pull again.”
“Alright, alright, calm down. No need to be so shirty. I’ll be there, well-behaved and all. It’s my best mate’s wedding. What kind of man would I be to go legless with some fanny picked up off the street?”
Alexei laughed before saying in a sober voice, “But I swear to you, I’ll be there on time, well-dressed and completely sober. Well. Mostly sober.”
“I’m just teasing. I’ll see you on the 27th.”
Once he’d finally shut him up, Lelouch pocketed his phone before slipping into the warmth of their home. Looking up, she returned his peck as he carefully took a seat beside her on the sofa.
“So what did he say?”
“He said he’d be there.”
He nodded. “Yeah, it’s… I’m glad he’s going to be there.”
He watched her cap the bottle before setting her feet on the coffee table. Settling into the seat comfortably, he put his arm around her and his feet up beside her.
“Though I would still marry you, regardless of whether he’s there or not.”
“I know. But I’m glad he’ll be there.”
He looked at her curiously.
“It just seemed like you really wanted him to be there.”
Smiling, he leaned against her. He supposed he had actually missed his friend, for all his…free ways. They had grown up together after all. It had been him, Alexei, and Milly together after all. Even when they’d grown up and gone their separate ways, he knew he could never really be able to forget them and what they had meant to him as a child, and that they wouldn’t be able to either.
But that was the nice thing, wasn’t it? About being able to choose who your family was.