A/N: Hello guys! This is me trying CLuCLu again. I intended for this to be a Christmas gift for my readers even though it's not Christmas-themed. But my hand was injured and typing was a hassle and I had to babysit like 10 children, and work part-time... so it got super delayed.
Thankfully I made it in time for New Year!
So yeah, a holiday gift for you guys. Just a quick shot of C.C. and Lelouch. :)
I MET YOU ONCE
"I met you once. When you didn't have your memories."
Lelouch put down his pen and swivelled his chair around to look at his companion. There was nothing unusual with C.C. - she was still lying on the bed haphazardly, her long hair was sprawled behind her and she was hugging Cheese-kun. Her boots were abandoned on the floor with her black robe. She was only wearing her white underwear and that gave him a rather enticing view as he mulled over his decision - will this be worth his time?
"Once?" he asked.
C.C. looked at him and nodded. "Once. You were kind."
"When was this?" Lelouch shifted to a more relaxed position. He decided to indulge the witch for the moment. He could use some rest himself.
"Kallen had cough and colds, and we ran out of supplies. I had to put on a disguise and go buy them myself. I had free time - the Knights were working on something and someone else was in charge of your surveillance."
"And then you met me?"
"I don't know if you remember. I had long blonde hair, green eyes, and glasses."
Lelouch looked down and then shrugged. "I don't think I recall anyone-"
"You were in a hurry, carrying groceries. I was carrying several bags, too... and maybe five pizza boxes."
Lelouch chuckled. "I really don't remember."
But C.C. did. She remembered very clearly.
"Oh, I'm very sorry! I wasn't looking!" Lelouch said, kneeling down and trying to gather the groceries he dropped. The girl he bumped into looked at him with an unreadable expression.
C.C. realized that they were staring at each other - him trying to see if she was angry or if he had upset her, and her trying her best not to pull him up and kiss him to make him remember everything right then and there.
It seemed so damn easy.
Finally, as he fixed the bags in his arms, he said, "Miss? I'm really really sorry for the inconvenience-"
C.C. quickly shook her head and mustered up a big innocent smile. "Oh, it's okay. You-.. You just look a bit like someone I know so I thought you were him. Let me help you with that!"
"No, please - you're carrying your own load." he replied with a genuine smile back. He picked up a bag of potato chips and looked at the label before standing up and offering it to the stranger. "Could this be yours? I don't remember buying this, so..."
"Ah. It is. Must have dropped it." her arms were full so she simply leaned closer and let him put the snack bag in one of the open paper bags. "Could you..?"
"Here you go."
"Do you need any help with all that? That's five boxes and four huge bags-"
"I'll manage! My car's parked in the lot."
"The lot." He looked back. "The parking lot three blocks away?"
C.C. blinked, then realized that YES - the shopping district was blocks away from the parking lot where the car was. She also realized that there were all sorts of weapons stuffed in unlikely nooks and crannies of that car.
She sent him an earnest smile, making sure she also had appreciation-mode on. "It's really alright. You looked like you were in a hurry. Please don't bother."
"I wasn't really in a hurry. We'll help you. My little brother's on his way-... Hey, Rollo!"
C.C. cursed under her breath. That Brittanian spy was with him! She should be extra careful. "Oh, I'm bothering both of you-"
"It's good. We can't let you carry all that by yourself. We're also heading that way."
"Nii-san?" Rollo came up to them. He was carrying a box of cake and slung on his arm was a paperbag that contained a wine bottle. 'There must be some sort of celebration in the student council', C.C. thought. The boy looked at her and she smiled lightly.
Lelouch looked at his younger brother. "Rollo, let's help this young lady with her bags. Her car is in the lot, and I've troubled her by bumping against her and almost making her drop her groceries."
"Ah!" Rollo quickly nodded, then quickly raised a free hand. "I can help you with some of those bags, miss!"
"Really, you shouldn't-"
"We insist." Lelouch said firmly, then asked the witch if she will let him carry the pizza boxes.
C.C. had no choice but to relent and keep up her act. The brothers escorted her to the blue car, joking with each other and complaining about 'Miss President' partying too hard.
C.C. watched as Lelouch laughed at something Rollo said, while the boy pouted but smiled up at his "big brother".
She thanked them as she put the last of the pizza boxes by the passenger seat. "I'd like to offer you a ride but I have to pick up a friend. I'm really grateful for your help, though."
"It's not a problem, miss." Rollo reassured, looking up at his big brother again.
Lelouch said, "It was our pleasure to assist you. Take care on your way."
"You too." C.C. nodded, then got on the car just as the "brothers" walked away, Rollo still talking excitedly to Lelouch.
The first thing she did when she got to her shared flat with Kallen was tear off her wig and her glasses. Kallen, wrapped in blankets as she watched a random TV show, looked up at the witch, who was struggling to take off her contacts. "Hey."
"Hey." C.C. said, keeping her contact lenses in their container and then quickly rummaging through the bags of groceries. She set a tall glass of water and a small bottle of pills in front of her roommate. "Drink up and get better."
"Thanks." Kallen said, although she looked oddly at the witch. C.C. had a minute frown on her face as the green-haired pizza-lover grabbed the five boxes of pizza, a big bottle of soda, and a stray Cheese-kun plush, then walked towards the bedroom and slammed the door. "C.C., anything wrong?" the pilot called.
"I'm just hungry!" was the reply from the bedroom as C.C. lay down on the bed and opened her first box of pizza.
Kallen never knew what really happened.
"I think I remember that now." Lelouch said. "The blonde with the beat-up car and tons of groceries. That was you?"
"The only." C.C. said, still with a straight face. "What do you think?"
"What do I think?" Lelouch repeated, raising an eyebrow, looking at her in contemplation. "Now that I know you're also a very good actress, when are you going to tell me about the other tricks up your sleeve?"
He had lived with her for almost a year - in the very same room, knowing the very same plans of rebellion, but he still had so much to learn about her.
"I'll tell you when I want to." the witch said with a small smile. "So it was good, huh?"
Lelouch considered for a while before nodding. "I guess so." He made a move to turn back to his work, but then his companion spoke up again.
"When I went back after that, I seriously thought of abandoning the Black Knights."
Lelouch whirled around to look at her.
C.C. was still looking up at the ceiling. "You didn't know me, you didn't necessarily care about the rebellion. You were living in peace. And even if that Brittanian spy was a fake, you loved your brother. And he was good - it's like he loved you too. You were happy."
"Nunnally has Suzaku and Cornelia. She will be safe."
"What, so you thought of quitting?"
"For you. Because everything was alright. Your smile is nice, you know." C.C. looked at him. "I didn't want to quit. I wouldn't quit. I just thought of a change of plans."
"Change of plans - you were going to abandon me?" Lelouch said, confusion in his voice. "You were going to disappear on the Black Knights, and then let me live in peace?"
"We're partners. I wouldn't abandon you, but maybe it will be better if you lived your life without me, without the rebellion-"
"We're partners." Lelouch said firmly, cutting her off. "I may be happy, but you wouldn't be there. We're partners - our place is by each other's sides. It would make no sense if I live my life without you."
C.C. looked at him with a slightly startled expression.
If she was a box of surprises for him, he was one for her too.
"That sounded very romantic." C.C. smiled lightly. "No sense, hm?"
Lelouch flinched, looking away. "Shut up. You got me upset."
"Upset. You're upset?" C.C. chuckled.
"Yes. It was very upsetting to think that you wanted to quit right then and there."
"If it matters to you," the witch started, sitting up. She reached out and ruffled the young man's hair. "I thought very hard about it."
"Looking at things now, I guess you made the right choice." Lelouch drew away, patting down the hair she messed with.
"After five boxes of pizza, the crazy idea was gone." C.C. reassured him, withdrawing her hand and looking at him with a content smile.
"You still got me upset because you actually thought of leaving me with all the Brittanian surveillance. I didn't know you were that... stupid. That isn't like you."
"Hey, I didn't push through with it."
"You thought of it, though. The thought of you considering that was... awful." Lelouch argued. "And I repeat - it just isn't like you."
"How do you know that getting you back was the right decision anyway?" C.C. asked. "You should look at yourself back then, Lelouch. You smiled like a happy person."
Lelouch huffed. "Then you should look at yourself now. You're actually being a person."
C.C. raised an eyebrow. "I'm being a person?"
"You're being human."
"You weren't. Now you are. Kinda."
C.C. crossed her arms in front of her chest. "What do you prefer?"
"Now. Because I can actually pose an argument." Lelouch finally turned back to his desk and picked up his pen. "Back then I always wondered if you ever accepted a 'no' and you were so hard to deal with."
"Do you regret it, though?" C.C. asked. Lelouch didn't have to look back to know that the witch had laid back on the bed again. "Getting yourself involved in all this just because I gave you the power, fighting back just because you finally CAN?"
"For the last time, witch," Lelouch sighed. "I wouldn't have done this any other way. Well, except getting caught by my father and being brainwashed, of course."
"Hm..." C.C. mused, reaching for Cheese-kun and going back to staring aimlessly at the ceiling. "Okay."
After a brief pause, Lelouch called, "C.C.?"
"Thanks for not ruining the plans right then and there."
"It was my side of the bargain - I never screw up."
Lelouch nodded. "Of course."
"Go to sleep." she said softly, yawning.
"In a few minutes. I'm finishing up."
When Lelouch cleaned up his desk and stood up, C.C. was already fast asleep on her side of the bed.
He didn't tell her that he met her once, too. He was sure she remembered. She showed him herself. He met-... no. He watched a little girl wish to be loved - and then he witnessed everything: how she longed, loved, then lost.
That moment was when he realized that someone who had gone through all that deserved a wish - any wish - granted, and that whatever he had to go through from the start of their partnership up to the present was nothing compared to what she had endured.
If she met him once and that made her want to step back, then he met her once and that made him want to step forward. He met her once and he knew that he wasn't fighting just for himself any more. It's not just bringing down his father's empire that came with avenging his mother and saving Nunnally - it was also giving C.C. whatever she wanted to be happy.
"Why did you decide to go on?" he whispered, sitting on the bed and looking down at his sleeping companion.
C.C. slowly opened her eyes and looked back at him, catching him off guard. "It was just as you said. Maybe I was being a person."
Lelouch chuckled. "How does that connect?"
C.C. looked down and let out a small bitter smile. "I decided to go on because I let myself be selfish. I decided that I wanted you back."
"Oh." was all he said. He slipped under the covers with her and let her lay her head on his chest as she slept, while he looked up at the ceiling, contemplating.
Thinking about it, he was thankful that she had been selfish. For all that they bickered and for all that he thought her to be a hard woman to deal with, he as most thankful when she wasn't being willing to let him go. He felt safe that way. He felt safe when he knew that she wanted to be the one by his side.
Lelouch was grateful that when she met him once, she was already the human that they both didn't know they had built.
It wasn't like her - he thought. It just wasn't like her - and maybe he cherished the fact that it wasn't like her because he had changed her, just as she had changed him.
So she met him once and he was kind while she was also kind but mostly selfish. Just like everything else between them, he didn't regret it.
A/N: I'm still trying to get back on track with writing this couple. It's just been too long. But I hope you liked it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!