Part Fourteen: Promise

By the time she cut off the engine and closed the door, he was already standing up. Grease and grime from the motorcycle dirtied his hands and arms, which he absentmindedly wiped. Suddenly anxious, she stood close by Milly’s truck, as if doing so would protect her from any sudden doubt. They stared at one another, with one unsure of what to say and the other merely waiting for whatever she had to say to him, when she feebly said his name.

Lelouch had promised to listen to what she had to say first. He had promised himself that he would be dignified, no matter what the end result was, but when he heard her say his name again, even if it hadn’t been that long, it made his heart ache in such a way that only holding her could have soothed the pain, so, impulsively, he rushed to her and tightly embraced her. Thankfully, she seemed to like it because she returned the hug in equal measure.

“I’m sorry for being so stupid.”
“I’m sorry for not telling you. I should have known better, I had just thought- It was because I’ve never in my life acknowledged her as my fiancé, and after you…after meeting you, C.C., I never will. Not when there’s you.”

She closed her eyes and smiled. She felt him press his lips on her head and run a hand through her hair and listened to his heart as it skipped and raced to match her own. Linking their hands together, she leaned up to kiss his cheek softly.

“I love you, Lelouch vi Britannia. And don’t you ever forget that.”

. . .

“You don’t have to do this. We can figure something out. The year is almost over, you don’t have to do what they ask. Please don’t do it. Please don’t.”
“Yes, I do.”
“But why?”
“Because, sweet pea, I love you, and I would do anything in the world to give you what you need and what you want.”
“But I want you to not enlist. Lelouch, I swear to God, if you do, I’m never going to speak to you ever again.”
“You don’t mean that.”

Fuming, she glared at him. No, she didn’t mean that. She loved him too much, and he knew it, which was why he had called her bluff, but he needed his parents to in the very least accept their union. He didn’t care much for their opinion, but he wouldn’t have C.C. suffer what he had over the past years, and he wouldn’t have their baby go through that hell either. So if they wanted him to enlist, if they’d approve – albeit grudgingly – on the condition that he enlist, then so be it. He would enlist.

“I promise I’ll come back to you, C.C. I promise. No matter how long it takes, I’ll always come back. But in return, I need you to promise me that you’ll try your best to be happy. Every day, I need you to wake up and smile for me and smile for you and smile for our baby. Will you promise me that? That you’ll do your best to smile for our baby?”

Lower lip trembling, she stared at him with wide eyes as tears welled up. Smiling sadly at her, he opened his mouth to say something – to tell her how much he loved both her and their unborn child – when she angrily jabbed a finger in his shoulder and threatened, “You’d better hope you haven’t bitten off more than you can chew with that promise, you bastard, or you’ll pay. Do you understand? You’d better hope and pray, or else…”

“Yes, ma’am.”

And leaning in, he kissed her softly until she had cried herself of all her sadness and fear.

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