Part Thirteen: Roses

The first thing he did when he woke up was lay in bed and stare up at the ceiling. The sun hadn’t yet risen, so it was still dark, save for the red lights twinkling up at him and his phone, who was screaming at him to get out of bed for school. Closing his eyes, Lelouch pulled the covers over his head. The sick feeling in the pit of his stomach hadn’t gone away since two days ago, and he suspected it wouldn’t today either on account of the high probability that there would be no messages, no voicemails, no anything from C.C.

Covering his face, he tried his best to bite back the emptiness welling up inside of him. What was he supposed to do now? Just keep pretending that every day without her wasn’t killing him more and more? But how?

How could he, when he missed her so much?

. . .

Milly glanced at her friend as they waited for the light to change. Though she wasn’t really the type to chatter all about the weekend, the silence emanating from her was extremely sullen and downtrodden, and she couldn’t help but worry. The only thing that could have gone wrong from her point of view was the dinner between her parents and her boyfriend, and while he certainly wasn’t the nice guy that every mother and father wanted for their daughter, he was by all means polite when necessary. For God’s sake, the man had actually driven a car for once and had dressed up quite formally for the occasion. He’d looked quite handsome in his slacks and white dress-shirt. That enough had been apparent even in the dark picture her friend had posted on Instagram, and both had seemed quite adorable and happy seeing from the accompanying caption, so… It couldn’t have been the dinner with her parents, right?

“So I finally managed to finish all of my applications,” she said slowly. “I was thinking about throwing a party in celebration. Are you and Lelouch free Friday night? Or would I be stepping all over your date plans?”
“…I wouldn’t know. I haven’t talked to him since Saturday.”

Alarmed, she stared. Since Saturday? But today was Monday, which could only mean that they had gone for an entire day, day and a half without speaking to one another, which in turn only meant that they were fighting. But about what? What could they possibly argue about? Lelouch folded to C.C.’s wishes without a moment’s hesitation, and she was putty in his arms. What did she mean they hadn’t spoken since Saturday?

“What happened on Saturday?”
“…I found out some stuff about him that I wish I had known earlier.”

Milly grimaced. She didn’t really know who was in the wrong, but from what she knew of Lelouch vi Britannia, she didn’t think he was really the type to just let things lie like this. Even in the case that C.C. was at fault, he still seemed like the type who would at least try to talk things out and figure out a resolution instead of letting the problem fester like this. Which could only mean that the cause for this stalemate was none other than…

“Did you find this stuff out from him or from someone else?”
“Does it matter? It doesn’t change the fact that it’s still true.”
“No, but it changes how much of it is true.”
“Whose side are you on?” she snapped. “Don’t tell me you’re defending his lying.”
“Hey,” sharply scolded her friend. Shifting the car into park, she frowned. “I’m not on anyone’s side, and I’m not defending anyone’s lying. Your argument with Lelouch is your business, and I’m not going to get mixed up in it. But don’t just sit there, refusing to hear what he has to say, and then staying angry at him even when he’s probably tried to talk to you because that’s not fair to either you or him because I know how much you love him, and any idiot can see how much he loves you.”
“What are you saying?”
“Don’t fuck it up is what I’m saying. Because the way you’re headed now, you’re on a one-way path just for that.”

And, grabbing her bag, she slammed the door to the car shut. C.C. pursed her lips together and coldly walked away, but Milly didn’t blanch. She had no choice; she knew her parents would leave her be, trusting that she knew what was best for herself, and Lelouch…

As she had said: Lelouch loved her, and by that virtue, would wait for her to decide her next course of action, whatever it may be.

Of course, she may have been overly harsh with her, but sometimes you just had to be a little tough with the people you loved. Whether they liked it or not. And right now, C.C. needed someone to slap her around a little so she could wake up and smell the roses.

. . .

Because Milly had to stay behind to discuss a recent test grade with their economics teacher, and because Lelouch had been absent from school, C.C. found herself alone in the lunchroom. Not that she really cared all that much; she had her book with her, and she was interested in finding out what the ending was. Besides, it was so much better to be left alone to read; Lelouch had been so irritating with the way he had always gently teased and silently bothered her. Now that he was gone, she didn’t have to swat him away, or be distracted from the book with the eventual smiling and joking and…and…

Tiredly, she blinked at the pale blue envelope stuck between the pages of her book. On the back she could see her name written in his handwriting, and though she suspected it held a fairly good explanation for this entire ordeal – after all, if her father had been willing to deliver it, then there must be a good reason (or at least an acceptable one) – but it had remained unopened thus far. Maybe she was just being silly, but tearing the envelope open and seeing – reading; digesting – what he had to say just felt… What if he said something she wouldn’t like? What if he said that he’d just been stringing her along all this time? What if he said that he didn’t really love her? Not that they had really said that to one another yet, but… She at least had kind of thought that they kind of did. It certainly felt like it at times, especially with the way he looked at her and held her hand and kissed her forehead before nudging her into her classroom…

It took her some time to finish opening the envelope, but when she did, the first thing she did was cry. His looping cursive blurring and running together under her tears, she relieved herself of her tightly-held fears as he told her how it was all just a silly misunderstanding and that no, he didn’t have a fiancé. One of his choice anyway, and that by God there was no one he had ever loved more than he loved her. Wiping her tears, she struggled to swallow her cries until her friend appeared.

“Hey. Are you alright?”
“Can I borrow your car?”
“When? Now?”

She nodded tearfully. Reaching into her bag, Milly handed her some tissues as she tried to figure out what had happened in the twenty minutes she had been speaking to their teacher. Seeing the handwritten letter in her lap, she bit her lip. Well. She wasn’t sure if C.C. crying was a good thing or a bad thing, but whichever it was, at least she had started to make an effort to clear this up. Maybe it would be better to just get this over with. Just in case it wasn’t a happy ending.

“Are you okay to drive? Do you want me to drive you?”
“No, I can do it. You can’t miss any more class this semester anyway.”

Milly sheepishly smiled. Well, she was right, technically, but so what? What was three hours of “Friday school” going to do? It didn’t even go on her permanent record. And seeing as how she was in tears… She’d drive her if she needed to be driven.

“I can do it. Don’t worry. I’ll try to come back before school ends.”
“Oh, take your time. No need to rush things because of me. I’ve gotten tired of driving anyway; riding the bus for once will be a nice change.”

Sniffling, she took the keys offered to her and shouldered her bag. Blowing her nose, she turned to leave, when she paused.

“Hey, Milly.”
“…Thanks. For everything.”

Milly grinned.

“You know you’re going to owe me big time for this, right?”
“Yeah. I do.” And she smiled back.

And she watched her leave with a strange feeling of wistful pride. Hopefully things went well. Hopefully she was rushing off to him to hug him. Their relationship was on the shorter side, but the experience so far had been an intense one. Not just for the two on in the inside, but for those watching on the outside as well, and the sooner they figured this out, the better. Besides. Lelouch wasn’t the only one who liked to see her smiling.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Sean says:

    Seems like he became very dependent on her and her company in the time they were together and the separation seems to be affecting him rather badly. First thing to do would be to find a means to try and explain the whole situation so at least she understands regardless of what she decides. I’d hope he’d eventually manage to get past what he’s going through because it’s not going to leave anywhere else, but we do know it eventually works out for the most part.

    It’s kind of fun watching Milly make observations and try to puzzle out the situation as best she can while ruling out other things. The detail that Lelouch drove a car and dressed nice is rather cute. Man there seem to be a lot of parties in this town. I wonder if that was the case for my town or if I just didn’t know about them. I guess a day and a half is a bit of time to go without talking when in a relationship, though not sure if it’s necessarily as massive a deal as Milly makes it out to be. But then I guess I wouldn’t know really. But Milly is largely logical about this I’d say. Granted as C.C. doesn’t know the full details, saying it’s completely true seems like jumping the gun a bit, especially given the source. There’s always the possibility he could be lying to her (we know he probably wouldn’t), but even so it’d be better than just taking that statement at face value. Milly just makes sense to me here for the most part.

    Even though it eventually descends into her missing him, taking a little time to herself to get some reading done doesn’t sound so bad to me really. At least she’s keeping the letter with her. Glad she decided to get it over with since it’s better than going back and forth about it forever. But yeah, better this all got resolved now before it ballooned and went on forever with each wallowing in misery. So good that it got back on track.

    Thank you 🙂


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