“Well, I think he’s your type.”
“What about him could possibly make you say that, when I’m standing here, saying that he’s not?”
“He’s one of those… You know, fringe types. And he’s not stupid either, even if he does sleep all the time. But that only means he can go all night long, doesn’t it?”
Milly laughed. “I’m just teasing. But you have to admit that you think he looks delicious. I mean, I’ve seen you staring at him. Oh, yeah, I have. You thought if you hid behind that book and pretended you’re reading, I wouldn’t find out, but oh, I did, and I’m sure he has too.”
“No,” she said stubbornly, “he hasn’t.”
“Really? Because he’s headed here right now.”
She looked up sharply from her book, half out of disbelief, half out of surprise, but for once, Milly wasn’t kidding around; he really was walking toward them. Leaning back into the seat, C.C. returned her attention to the book – though only after he’d finished looking right and left to cross the parking lot.
“Lelouch vi Britannia,” said Milly with a grin. “Just the man I wanted to see.”
“Well, you see, the thing is, I was supposed to give C.C. a ride home today, but turns out I have to stay after school for this student council thing, which I know C.C. can’t wait for because she has work right after school today. So I was wondering: is there room, by any chance, for her on the back of your pretty bike?”
Leaning down, he peered in past Milly to the girl in question. Glancing at her friend, he stared at her intently.
“Is this something C.C. wants? Or is it just a prank you’re pulling on your friend?”
“Does it matter?”
“It does, yeah.”
Milly sighed. She’d been right when she had said that these two would make a good couple; both of them apparently weren’t very good partners-in-crime.
“Although, C.C., if in the future you do need a ride – in the case Milly can’t take you or you’re just tired of her antics – you know where I sit 4th period. I know it’s a bit of a long walk to the back corner, but it shouldn’t be anything you can’t handle, and I’d always be more than happy to give you a ride.”
“And why is that?” she said coldly.
“Because I like you,” he said softly.
She would have suspected something between the lines if not for his cheeky grin. Straightening up, he rapped the roof of the car.
“Well, I’m afraid I haven’t got any more time to spare, even if it was nice talking to the both of you. Milly, I’ll talk to you at lunch. C.C. Don’t forget what I said; I meant it.”
Milly waved sweetly before rolling up the window. Humming to herself, she unwrapped a piece of gum and popped it into her mouth before checking her make-up in the mirror. C.C. looked after their visitor as he crossed over to the school again.
“How many kids do you think he wants?” absentmindedly asked her friend. C.C. couldn’t help but snort.
“I seriously doubt he wants any kids.”
“You never know. He could be Mr. Sensitive underneath all of that fringe exterior. I heard he used to be Mr. Model Student. Not to mention how the principal used to kiss his ass all the time because of his parents. Even if he’s changed, it doesn’t mean it’s completely gone. It must be there somewhere, even if it’s buried under layers and layers of Rebel Without a Cause.”
“Yeah, well, I don’t care.”
She gave her friend a warning look, who defensively raised her hands.
“You never know. I’m just saying.”
“And that’s all it’s ever going to be: a waste of oxygen.”
And yet, that very same day, C.C. found herself waiting in the courtyard for Mr. Rebel. Taking her bag from her, he gave her a helmet and his jacket. At her surprise, he explained simply with, “It gets cold.”
She looked at the black leather balefully but slipped it on anyway. It didn’t look like he was going to return the backpack to its rightful owner without her wearing the jacket first. And there was also… Now that she was wearing it, it…didn’t seem so bad. The lining was soft and warm, and though she’d never admit it to anyone – not even to herself – it smelled nice.
“So where do you have to go?”
“Where is that?”
“In the Highlands. It’s about fifteen minutes away.”
He nodded before leading her away. She was surprised to see how gentle he was; helping her up onto the bike, making sure her helmet was on securely, slowly righting the bike so she wouldn’t fall off. C.C. felt heat radiate from her cheeks as he tightly held her hands where they were linked together at his midsection. The smooth leather of his gloves soothing to her skin, he tightly squeezed her hands as if to anchor her hold around his waist in place as the bike started up.
He glanced over his shoulder, but she never lifted her head from where it lay on his back, so he slid the black visor down before leaving the parking lot. Closing her eyes, C.C. held on for dear life as the strangest mixture of thrill and fear seared through her – hiding from her the fury of Kallen Stadtfeld, Lelouch vi Britannia’s long-time girlfriend and witness to the care and attention shown in the school parking lot.