Title: In The Wake Of Loss
Fandom: Fairy Tail
Summary: AU. Lucy never thought she would lose so much by the end of everything that happened with Tartaros. Loke and Lucy centric. Eventual Lolu.
General Warnings: AU. Gen. Spoilers for events in Fairy Tail up to chapter 416 (Aftermath of Tartaros Arc). Eventual Lolu.
Author's note: This is actually a prompt fill for Lolu Week 2015 I posted on my tumblr back in August but yeah, just posting this on here and AO3 as proof of life. I have a vague idea where this is headed but real life has been hectic recently, especially with my exams coming up. Might add more when I have free time. Meant to be canon-compliant since we still don't know everything that happened during that year, after the disbandment but this will probably be jossed. So, AU.
I. of those we left behind.
A flash of golden light illuminated the darkened room for a moment. Lucy didn't stir. Her hands kept clutching the last memento of her oldest -and for the longest time, only- friend, warm metal pressed against her palm. Unbidden, Lucy started to tear up again. The blonde pressed her fist against her mouth and tried to stay quiet. And here she almost thought she had cried enough for her loss.
It had been a week or so since Lucy lost her oldest friend. Three days since Fairy Tail disbanded and everyone went their separate ways. Blue and pink flickered across her mind.
("We're a team, Lucy!")
Lucy's lips trembled. Three days since they left her.
My heart hurts.
Dimly, the sound of familiar footsteps reached her ears. Lucy's bed creaked as someone sat beside her curled up form, completely covered by her blanket. Lucy burrowed deeper into her bed. She could guess who that was. He was the only one of her Celestial Spirits who could drop by the Human World without so much as a word to her first.
"Lucy…" Loke sounded worried. "What happened? I felt- I mean, where are the others?" I felt your distress, was what he was about to say, but Loke suspected Lucy wasn't ready to have that conversation yet.
Lucy sniffled quietly. Of course he didn't know. Loke probably came by to check in on her and then get a job with Cana again. He was probably curious about why she didn't summon anyone lately too. Before they- before the guild disbanded, Lucy practically summoned Plue every day to keep her company and as for the rest, she usually summoned some of them at least once a week.
Loke usually came and went as he pleased, but he usually dropped a word to her before he went off somewhere, ever since Mirajane spilled the beans about his jobs with Cana a while back. That was before everything with Tartaros happened though.
This was the first time Loke dropped by since Tartaros. Since Aquarius.
Because of this, no one in the Celestial Spirit World knew what happened to Fairy Tail. What happened to her team. Lucy dreaded having to explain the situation to him. She knew Loke thought of the guild as his second home and this news would hurt him as much as it did her.
The blonde wiped at her eyes and attempted to speak. "I'm fine, Loke." To Lucy's dismay, her voice wobbled in the middle of her sentence.
"Are you alright, beautiful?" Lucy wanted to answer him, but she didn't trust her voice to remain steady. "Lucy?" There was a brief silence before Loke apologized under his breath. "Lucy, I'm pulling away your blanket," he announced, an undercurrent of worry lied beneath his voice as he waited for her response. When he received none, Loke gripped her blanket cocoon and pulled gently and revealed Lucy's disheveled and emotionally fraught state, face tear-stained and pale and exhausted. She probably looked like a mess. A distant pang of embarrassment flashes through the blonde but Lucy was too tired to care.
Loke's eyes widened. He opened his mouth but Lucy interrupted him as she sat up in her bed, the blanket pooling around her waist. "Loke!" if Lucy weren't so tired, she would have thrown something at him. "W-Why are you here?"
Loke paused and smiled at her, although not as brightly as usual. A touch of uneasiness lined his brow as he fished a handkerchief out of his pocket. "I came to see how you're doing, beautiful. And of course, I'll drop by Fairy Tail later as well." Maybe Cana would be around, he mused to himself. It's been a while since we went on a job together.
Lucy closed her eyes briefly. Right. Loke didn't know yet.
How should I tell him?
Lucy bit her lip as she grasped for words. "I-" Lucy's brain short-circuited when she felt a gentle hand cup her right cheek. Soft fabric brushed over her features, slowly getting rid of her tears. Lucy couldn't help but take in a shaky breath. "Cana isn't here."
A flash of confused disappointment flickered across his face but Loke must have seen something in her expression. Loke glanced into her eyes before he continued with his self-appointed task. "Neither are the others." Lucy closed her eyes and allowed Loke wipe away the rest of her tears. She was too emotionally wrung-out to push Loke away. Not to mention, it felt nice to let him take care of her like this. "Loke…" Lucy began hesitantly before she finally forced the words out. "Fairy Tail disbanded three days ago."
It took Lucy a while to realize that the sensation of fabric against her face had stopped. Lucy opened her eyes and glimpsed Loke's utterly shocked expression before it dissolved into a mixture of complicated emotions she couldn't decipher. Lucy thinks she might have spotted a sense of loss in his hazel eyes. Maybe a trace of what looked like hurt along his clenched jaw. Loke pulled away and examined her with an inscrutable expression.
The next second, that expression was tucked away behind a faintly smiling mouth, edges tinged with something similar to what she felt when Master Makarov told everyone about Fairy Tail's disbandment. "What happened?"
Lucy frowned, eyes downcast. Her hand twitched with the urge to grip her hair, but she settled for her blanket. "I-I'm not sure. I went over everything in my head several times already but I still can't figure it out. Master Makarov," Lucy faltered briefly, but pushed on regardless, words tumbling out of her mouth faster and faster, "disbanded Fairy Tail three days ago without any explanation. Everyone did protest once they heard about it but eventually they just, went on their separate ways and I just- I don't understand why- Even Erza and Gray and Natsu-"
Warmth. That was the sensation Lucy registered first. Heat radiated from Loke's arms and chest and sank into her bones. His orange hair brushed against her skin, his breath puffed against her ear. The scent of the earth after particularly heavy rain and something else that was uniquely Loke's enveloped her and the tension in her shoulders melted away as she returned the hug. The wave of comfort that flooded her senses shouldn't surprise her as much as it did.
Then Loke murmured something in her ear and the sheer weight behind his simple statement dumbfounded her. It's a promise, she realized, and that was it.
"As long as you'll have me, I'll never leave you."