Author's note: Boredom plus my own continued interest has prompted me to write a follow up to the first chapter of this story
Author's note: Boredom plus my own continued interest has prompted me to write a follow up to the first chapter of this story. I don't know if there will or will not be any further chapters added. This just came to me one day.
Summary: Another day in the immortal lives of C.C. and Lelouch.
C.C. released an annoyed sigh. For days now Lelouch would spend hours crawling around every nook and cranny, every crevice, every closet and crawlspace of their home. Their home, not his, but hers as well. She did not appreciate his frantic rearranging of the sofa cushions or the towels in the hall closet.
She in her chair and observed Lelouch searching beneath the couch a few feet away with a flash light for the seventh time since this fool's errand began. In front of her was a small table that displayed the source of his vexation: an incomplete chess set.
She sighed louder this time, vainly attempting to catch his attention. He either ignored her or didn't hear her. Either way, frustration had gotten the best of her. "Oh husband of mine, when will you give up this pointless endeavor?" She addressed him calmly, in a soothing voice, fiercely trying to mask her growing outrage.
"When I have found that pawn." He stated without glancing in her direction.
"Lelouch," she continued, "it's been five days. I have watched you calmly and methodically search all rational locations for that piece. I have watched you check even the most unlikely of places, such as the refrigerator, the closet, our bed room, and, I still can't figure this out, the fire place."
"Nothing simply disappears, C.C. The black pawn is somewhere or something happened to it. I checked the fire place because I wanted to see if it had met it's unfortunate end there. As for the other locations, well as they say 'when you've eliminated the impossible…'"
"I see. Sound reasoning. But, haven't you already eliminated the area underneath the couch? Do you doubt your own ability to perceive reality? Oh, my poor husband, it seems not even immortality can spare you from the grip of senility." She finished unable to hide the sarcasm in her words any longer. The entire situation was laughable, really.
Lelouch was not amused. Days of this search was taxing his patience. "Instead of sitting there, mocking me, why don't you help me?" He almost demanded it.
"Just because a pawn is missing it doesn't mean the set is broken forever. Use something else, like a coin or something."
"That would be tacky."
"That's a weak excuse. Very well, why not just buy another board?"
Lelouch finally turned to face her and gave her a look as if she had suddenly lost her mind. "C.C., there are 31 other pieces to that board that are accounted for. I cannot simply throw them all out because of one pawn!"
This was going no where. "Fine, continue your pointless search. I am going to occupy myself with something… productive."
When she had left the room, C.C. cursed herself for that word. Productive, as if anything they spent there time on mattered. Time was meaningless now, after all, so anything that was important because of the stress of time was significantly less important. They had once joked with each other in the privacy of their bedroom that they could build an entire city, complete with roads and public buildings, and still have enough time to watch it burn and be rebuilt.
She remembered fondly sharing a laugh with him over the joke, years ago. It seemed as if the mere hours in which his now fevered search had consumed him were longer. Again, she sighed at his foolishness. Would that incomplete board matter in a few days time?
Lelouch, in the meanwhile, had given up searching beneath the couch but chose to simply remain with his head and arms underneath it. Silently he was kicking himself for the way he had just spoken with C.C. Absently, he picked up a small coin just a few inches from his face.
Standing up and straightening his clothes, he returned to the chess set and eyed the square directly in front of the queen's rook. The absence of the pawn threw off the whole balance of the board. Use something else, like a coin or something.
Filling the void with the currency, Lelouch slowly walked around the small table. It just didn't look right. Eight pawns on the white side, standing proud and in a uniform line. To the opposite of them, a mere seven pawns and one lowly coin, the imbalance was staggering. In real life, the black king's forces would be a joke, a mismatched assembly of men that just didn't fit well together.
He slowly moved his finger a few centimeters over the tops of the black pawns, going all the way down the row until he reached the coin, and bitterly lowered his finger, as if showing distaste for the difference in height. No, this simply wouldn't do!
C.C. lounged lazily in their shared study. The winter months didn't allow her the opportunity to busy herself with yard work, and not accounting for her husband's sudden urge to rearrange the house, everything was cleaned. One good thing that came of it, she supposed, was that Lelouch had decided to make the best of his searching by dusting the areas in which he was searching.
It wasn't fair. He had something to do while she was stuck doing nothing. She reasoned that if he could busy himself doing something pointless, then she could do just the same. She made her way to the closet in the room and withdrew their never used painting supplies. Lelouch had bought them for her one day out of the blue.
"You used to paint, remember?" He said happily, urging her to hold the easel and canvas.
"Yes, yes I used to paint. Not anymore, you know that and you know why." She was very put off by this gesture of affection. She enjoyed their level of intimacy with each other, the fact that their mutual curse, their Codes, allowed them to share their memories with each other. Yet this was one of those unfortunate consequences. He knew she used to paint, knew why she stopped, and still he lacked the reasoning skills to understand why painting supplies were an inappropriate gift.
"C.C., it used to make you so happy. You don't have to worry about what happened-"
"Stop it, Lelouch. You don't know what it feels like. Don't you dare assume for even a moment that simply because you remember it that you were there. I experienced the pain first hand, boy," she emphasized the insult, "and I would appreciate it if you didn't bring it up. They stormed the abbey, burnt it and my paintings to the ground, before they burned me."
They stood in reverent silence for several moments before he spoke again. "C.C., I know that I do not realize how painful it could have been to experience it first hand." He began carefully, as if stepping over a minefield. "But I know why the memory pains you. All of you work, all of your beautiful paintings, gone in a senseless act of hate and fear. What you seem to have forgotten however," he boldly dared, "is how happy you were while making them. So here, I want you have these, because they brought you joy once before, and can do so again."
C.C. rolled her eyes and still kept her offended expression. "Fine. I'll never understand this foolish obsession you have with going out of the way to make me happy. I'm happy spending time with you. Well, maybe not right now, but on any other occasion…"
"It's selfishness really."
"You're saying I'm selfish?"
"No, I am. My desire to please you, it's for me more than you."
"Of course. Seeing you happy, it makes me happy. I'm just incredibly greedy and self centered, actually."
"Lelouch, stop trying to be funny." Try as she could, she couldn't stop the smile from creeping into her words.
She regarded the supplies before her with disdain. Such a horrible gift. Briefly, she contemplated throwing the blasted things away. It's not like he did anything extra in order to procure them anyway. They were more then likely bought with money he had won from gambling. Then again, so was much everything else they had.
It wasn't as if neither of them lacked any employable skills. She was a skilled tailor and he knew his way well around a kitchen. In truth, they were just too lazy to hold a job unless the need to keep their cover demanded it. So, more often than not, the money they needed came from Lelouch's favorite pastimes, gambling and chess.
Chess. Wasn't that why she was mad at him? We don't entertain company that often. That game board just sits there gathering dust. Who would care if one little pawn was missing?
That little pawn is driving me crazy! Where could it be? Not thinking what he was doing, Lelouch had moved to the kitchen and started moving the canned foods out of the shelves in a desperate attempt to search new areas of the house. He didn't know which he was looking for now, the pawn itself or new places that he hadn't looked for it in. Maybe both.
All the while, his small fight with C.C. weighed heavily in the back of his mind. She's right, he reasoned, I'm behaving ridiculously. These yams expired three years ago. After all, there is no reason I simply can't go out and buy another board. Hmm, have we always had this many cans of green beans? I'm taking this whole thing far too seriously; one piece is not really that big of a deal. And really, it's not like we have anyone over often enough that it would be an embarrassment. Ah, this can of tomato sauce is still good, she will be very-
Is that it? Lelouch's eyes lit up in excitement as he examined the area in the self more closely. Damn, I thought I had found the pawn, but it was just a trick of the light! Where are you?
In truth, C.C. didn't consider herself angry right now. Lelouch had simply found a new project to spend some time on. Sense time was now essentially a meaningless word to the both of them, they could waste however much of it they wanted. Often they would read. Their library was a constant source of problems for the both of them.
The collection of books never stopped growing, and they never stopped moving. One benefit, she supposed, was that Lelouch finally developed some muscle from carrying the vast amount of books from place to place. It also helped that he was gradually becoming more confident about showing his face in public. After all, Lelouch vi Britannia died ages ago, and was nothing more than a foot note in most children's textbooks.
Who would recognize him?
C.C. was, however, upset at the pointlessness of his new 'hobby'. He just hadn't given up on finding that piece, and it consumed him. Neither of them got much sleep last night as he kept stirring and asking her if he could leave the bed to search for it. She, of course, denied him permission on the grounds that his body was essential for her to get in a good night's sleep.
Again she regarded the painting supplies in front of her. His gift, meant to make her happy. As she turned the brush over in her hand, she wondered what would make her happiest right then.
She started to paint.
Lelouch had returned to the sitting room and sat in front of the chess board. He leaned over it with his hands folded beneath his chin and eyed it carefully. To anyone who observed the scene, it looked as if he was planning a brilliant and intricate strategy. Of course, not a single piece had been moved.
He suddenly sighed and began collecting the pieces. "C.C. was right; it is much simpler to just buy another board." He said to no one. "It's not like I ever use this one anyway."
Having solved his own little crisis, he now reluctantly resigned himself to the crisis that had been looming over him all day. When he had last seen C.C., she was very frustrated with him. This was dangerous water, considering that neither of them could die. She had once casually joked that any domestic disturbances that they had could easily be fatal without either of them being guilty of attempted murder.
It was a joke, they had laughed at the time, the way she had said it was funny. Of course, the part of him that knew there was some truth to her words always remembered that statement. Fortunately, something such as throwing him down a flight of stairs or dropping a dresser on top of his head was completely out of character for C.C., she was more adept at using her words to harm him whenever they rarely had a fight.
Lelouch began to search the house again, this time for his misplaced wife. Huh, I can't remember what we fought about last was. Lelouch attempted to recall any information from former arguments that might help him. It was half a century ago. Oh, yeah, she was upset with me for ordering too much or too little of something on a pizza.
Finally, he came upon her in the study. She was sitting very casually in a chair observing the easel he had bought her years ago. The canvas was facing away from him, so he couldn't see. Not that it mattered, she never painted on the thing anyway. "C.C., forgive me, I've been unfair to you these past few days."
She looked up from the canvas in front her noticing him there for the first time. She smile at him. "Forgive you, why? Did you do something wrong?"
Lelouch bit his lower lip. "I haven't been giving you your fair share of attention. I've been paying more attention to that blasted pawn than you. You were right before, I'm just going to go into town tomorrow and see about purchasing a new one."
"You don't have to apologize. I know it was bothering you that a piece was missing, you were only doing what made you happy."
"You make me happy, C.C."
"I know I do." She gave him a warm look.
He then noticed the splotches of red paint on her hands. "You've been painting?" He asked curiously.
"Yes I have. It makes me happy when I paint."
Lelouch took this as meaning that she was incredibly angry with him before. "C.C., I'm so sorry, I didn't mean-"
"-Why are you apologizing? Again? I should be thanking you, you know. You were right."
"I was?" How could he have been right? He almost ignored her for five straight days! In truth, it wasn't much time to either of them, but the facts were facts.
"About my painting. I used to be so happy when I painted." She closed her eyes and smiled to herself as she remembered. "I forgot just how happy it made me. Thank you, Lelouch."
"What did you paint?" He asked curiously.
"What would make me happy, of course."
"May I see it?"
"It's for you, so I don't know why you wouldn't get to see it." She teased.
Lelouch walked over to her side and gazed at his wife's picture. It wasn't of a beautiful landscape or a portrait of them together. It was-
"A black pawn? This would make you happy?"
"It would make you happy, wouldn't it? You were missing a pawn, so I made you one." Lelouch was certain that if the smile on her face got any bigger, she would break something.
"C.C., why?" It was the only thing he could ask. Was this some sort of elaborate trap designed to make him feel further guilt? He couldn't say he didn't deserve it, but this was completely unlike his wife.
"Why do you need to ask? The truth is its selfishness, really."
"Okay, I get it. C.C., I was behaving foolishly these past few days. I promise that if there is anyway I can make it up to you, I will. We can spend as much time together as you'd like, we-"
"What are you going on about now?" She asked sarcastically. She knew full well why he was saying this; her words were meant to be misinterpreted. "I'm talking about why I painted a pawn."
"I did it for me, not you. Having your pawn would make you happy. Seeing you happy, it makes me happy. I'm just incredibly greedy and self centered, actually."
Lelouch couldn't help the grin that came across his face.
Several weeks later…
They were both in their sitting room, sitting in front of the new chess board. Well, to be accurate, Lelouch was sitting in front of the board. C.C. had moved her easel and canvas to the sitting room on the side opposite of Lelouch and was sitting before it with the game board to her right.
They had been sitting like this for hours, the last move either of them made on the board seemed to have been ages ago. Lelouch was still staring intently at the board.
She rolled her eyes. "Oh husband of mine, when will you give up? This is a stalemate."
He said her true name, "…patience. This game is not over yet. What are you painting?" He asked trying to deny the reality of the situation.
"Patience, I'm not done painting yet." She teased.
A/N: So, again, I'm not sure if this will be ongoing or not. I had originally planned for this to be a one shot piece without a sequel or any additional chapters. Now I don't know if it'll remain as it is or if I'll get a flash of inspiration one day and add another chapter.
Anyway, I hope you all liked it. If not, that's cool too I suppose. I'm sorry that you were disappointed and I hope you find something that you enjoy reading instead.