“You should go up and sing.”
There was a snort from her right, and she glanced over to see her friend set her glass down. Wiping her mouth with a napkin, she leaned forward and set her arms on the table as she spoke just loud enough to be heard over the next performer in the small bar.
“He’d rather cut his left hand off than sing. I’ve spent 30 years with this guy, and I’ve heard him hum maybe once. Sorry, C.C., but there’s no way in hell he’s going to stand up in front of a room full of strangers and sing.”
Looking at him curiously, she watched as he silently drank his beer. Putting her arm around her shoulders, Milly leaned in close as the two women eyed their friend to whisper something in her ear – probably an embarrassing childhood memory shared by the two – when amidst the polite applause filling the room, he stood up. Looking up at him, the two watched him, surprised, as he made his way to the back of the bar.
Even Milly was speechless as he stepped up to the keyboard. Adjusting the mic, he cleared this throat before leaning in slightly. From all the way across the room, he looked straight at her and, his gaze never once straying from her, played the opening chords of his secret ode to her.
. . .
“I thought it was nice, by the way.”
Stopping in front of the door to her room, she looked up at him with a small smile. Averting his gaze, he gave a half-shrug, as if to say, “S’nothing.” Her smile widening, she stepped closer, giving him a good whiff of her pleasant perfume. Her hand reaching for his, she linked their fingers together as she placed her other hand on his chest. Gently leaning on him, she began to close her eyes as he bent down.
“Thank you,” she murmured. “For singing even though you didn’t want to.”
“For you, I did.”
And a warmth washing over her, she kissed him. Standing up onto her toes, she wound her arms around his neck as he hugged her waist and nearly lifted her up. Heart racing, she eagerly returned his enthusiasm. Never mind the fact that they were just friends, and never mind the fact that a part of her – in spite of this picturesque romance that was brewing with him – was still owned by Alex. In this moment – right here, right now, in front of her dorm at 3:13 in the morning – she was completely and totally in love with this man and unabashedly so. Right now, there was nothing she wanted more than to be with him, and as he reluctantly pulled away and brushed her hair from her face, she told him so.
The beautiful thing about it, she reflected, was how he had nodded because it was in that nod that she understood that he wanted her too. Not in the sexual sense, per se, though she’d be lying if she didn’t, but rather, her want of him was more a sort of need to connect with him emotionally and mentally and personally until they were more like one unified being than two separate entities. Any other man would have reached for the door. But that was what was so wonderful, wasn’t it? That he wasn’t just any other man.
Leaning against him, she wrapped her arms around him, and he kissed the top of her head.
“See you tomorrow then?”
“Yeah,” he said softly. “Tomorrow.”
And stooping down to receive a (completely platonic) kiss on the cheek from her, he slowly let her go. Smiling, he waited for her to close the door behind her before pushing away from the wall he’d been leaning on and making the long walk back home to his own room. His roommate would undoubtedly be waiting for him with some snide comment about his alcoholism (he’d had two drinks, but whatever, since when had his dorm mate ever been sensible?) but he didn’t care. He was in love. Completely, utterly, and madly in love, and his words could do nothing but glance off him.
For once, Lelouch was too high off the evening, too drunk off her smile to give a shit about his roomie or Alex Sharpe. Who gave a fuck? He sure as hell didn’t. Not with the fresh memory of her in his arms anyway.
Face red and laughing to himself, Lelouch could only barely keep himself from bursting into song, so elated was he. So he settled for some whistling so cheerful, it’d have rendered Milly speechless a second time in the same night.
Ah, but there may well be another opportunity for such a feat, yes? Now that he knew that anything was possible – including her wanting him.
Especially her wanting him.