“Lelouch and I are going to go out.”
Both parents looked up to where the two were sitting together on the sofa. Stuck close together, they innocently blinked at the adults. Euphemia glanced towards her husband, who continued to play with the cat, before smiling at the children.
“Okay. Just don’t stay out too late.”
Everyone rose from their seats. Sizing each other up for the last time, the two men shook hands with firm smiles. C.C. shrugged her coat on and swept her hair out from under as her boyfriend thanked her mother for dinner.
“It was delicious.”
“I’m so glad. I was afraid you wouldn’t like it.”
“No, it was wonderful. Thank you.”
Reaching up, she gently hugged him before releasing him to her daughter. Smiling at the couple, she reminded them not to stay out too late before sending them off. She watched in the warm light of the house as they walked down the driveway, their hands swinging between them, until they reached the sleek car waiting at the end.
Waving one last time, Euphemia closed the door gently and locked it. Resuming her seat beside her husband, she leaned against him. Looking at her, he wrapped his arm around her.
“What’s wrong, Euphie?”
“Nothing really. What did you think of Lelouch?”
“Seemed nice enough, especially for a kid who could have been easily spoiled. Not to mention how he was honest, even if I didn’t really like some of the answers he gave.”
“That’s true… But in the very least, we know he won’t try to hide anything from us or C.C. But oh, didn’t you see the way he looked at her?”
“I can’t tell who’s more in love with him between you and C.C.”
She giggled. He could just be so terribly silly sometimes. What did he mean he couldn’t tell? How could he not when there was only one person on this entire planet for her? Leaning in to kiss her husband, she smiled at him.
“I think it’s just wonderful she found someone who loves her like he does.”
He nodded. It was wonderful. Of course, that didn’t mean Lelouch vi Britannia was in the clear; even if the two married and spent the rest of their lives together, Suzaku would still hold some weariness for him. But for the time being, the boy seemed nice enough, so he let him go. For now anyway.
. . .
They sat in the parking lot of the fast food chain, the bright neon lights glittering off the dark hood of the Mercedes. Licking her fingers, she reached for another fry. Her boyfriend, frowning, set his phone down, when he found himself face-to-face with a ketchup-laden fry. Taking a bite, he watched as she reached for another.
“What do you mean?”
“You just frowned at your phone. What was it?”
“Nothing important. Just an invitation to some party.”
“Are you going to go?”
She glanced up at him. Didn’t most of his friends go to those kinds of parties? Not to mention how he’d told her parents when asked just hours earlier at the dinner table that yes, there were times when he went to parties where alcohol was indeed accessible and that yes, most of the time he did drink at those parties. If he’d gone as far as confessing to her parents that he drank, it should mean that it was something he planned on continuing later on in the future. Yet, here he was, already swatting down this invitation and that.
“Don’t you want to go?” she asked.
“Do you?” he asked. She shrugged.
“I’ve never been to one so I don’t think I can really say. Would you take me if I said I wanted to?”
“Only if you wanted to.”
When she asked when it was, he told her that it was tomorrow night at Gino’s. Gino? Gino Weinberg? Alarms went off in her head at the familiar name, but she couldn’t quite place why. Gino Weinberg… Why was he significant again?
“Although I’m going to have to be frank with you, the only reason why I ever go to those is for the free alcohol. All I ever really do is drink and then sleep on the sofa before going home. They’re not much fun.”
She nodded. They didn’t really sound very fun, but she wanted to experience one of her own anyway, so she went the next night to find out for herself. Holding his hand as he led her down the hallway, she brushed past her classmates as they busied themselves with talking, flirting, drinking, and all other activities of legal and illegal nature. He glanced over his shoulder to gauge her reaction; as they stepped into the kitchen, she gave him a tight smile.
“We can leave any time you want,” he said softly. “I’m not drinking tonight.”
“Because I want to-”
But she never got to hear what he wanted to do because from behind, she heard an all-too familiar voice snap, “What the fuck are you two doing here?” and turned to see none other than Kallen Stadtfeld in the doorway.
Oh, right. That was why Gino Weinberg’s name was so familiar; because he was the one who had replaced Lelouch as her next trophy.