Hajimemashite and Konnichiwa, dearest reader-san! Apple Fairy here! .

Well, here's a LukexTear fic for you. I hope you enjoy it:3

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Tales of the Abyss.

A Forced Lullaby

Story by Apple Fairy

I promise myself that I will watch over him.

I promise myself that I will never help him with his quest to change.

I understand that this is something he must do on his own.

I'm a fool to break my own promise, even once.

Tear bit her lower lip and closed her eyes tighter. She tried focus on something else, the sheet's touch on her, the dark abyss that didn't allow her to see an inch in front of her face, the soft breathing of her teammates, anything, really.

But it still haunted her, forcing its way through her defenses, blocking away all her means of escapes.

She wanted to hum something, so as to block out the sound, but couldn't. She had to stay silent. She had to fake sleep.

She had to stay hushed, and stand away and watch as he crumbled and broke in front of her.

Luke was crying.

She could hear his muffled sobs and his sniffles and whimpers. She could hear him gathering the sheets closer to him, so as to mute the noises, in fear of waking the others. She knew he didn't want to be heard; that he didn't want to worry anyone.

But she heard. She worried.

Truthfully, she had been hearing him for the past week.

It was always the same. Tear would wake up in the middle of the night, noiselessly, to hear Luke's crying. He still felt the guilt and anguish from her brother's betrayal and having…killed so many people. Tear wasn't surprised at that; Luke was human and he felt human emotions.

But it was how he hid it that hurt her so.

She hated how she couldn't offer him help. Tear worried he would refuse it, or that she was breaking her promise to only watch over him.

Perhaps it was because of Jade's influence, or having been trained to be the perfect soldier for so long, that made her think that Luke had to bear the pain and guilt. That he had to confront the hurt, and deal with it in his own way.

So that was why she only listened. Why all she allowed herself to do was watch him crumble and break.

It was like watching an enemy get killed. You knew it was wrong, yet the soldier in you said it was right.

And even after all of Legretta's training, and all the fighting she had done, she still longed to help Luke. To break her promise and her training and just get out of her bed and embrace him, and let him cry on her shoulder.

No,she told herself, I can't.

It was wrong. Breaking oath, and spoiling him. Luke had to grow up, and for that, he had to go through the harsh emotions of reality by himself. Tear wouldn't let herself hold his hand on the way. She wouldn't let herself comfort him, or shield him away from it all.

No, in fact, she would only watch him as he walked alone, bared the pain, and witness all the cruel and cold plays reality would act out for him.

So that is why she let him cry.

She heard the soft breathes of the others, and grew a sudden and fierce anger for them.

Why weren't they around to help him now? While they were fast asleep, here Luke was suffering all by himself.

Selfish. she thought with disdain, Do they even care what he's going through? They don't even notice, do they? So very…

Tear realized the hypocrisy and ill-temperedness in her thoughts, and quickly pushed them to the side. She wasn't helping either; Why blame the others when she might as well be asleep as they were?

I'm just looking for someone to blame. She told herself, and opened her eyes to the darkness.

Tear was angry at the unfairness of it. How Luke had to bear all this pain by himself. How he had to go through this alone.

She knew he had to though.

She hated how she understood the reason.

She wanted to break the rules, just this once, and go comfort him.

No, she told herself once more, you can't. Leave him be. Go to sleep.

But she couldn't. All she could hear was his sobs and wails. All she could feel was her heart wrench.

It hurt. Maybe when one witnesses or hears another cry, it hurts them more than the victim.

Especially if they know the person.

Go to sleep. Just go to sleep. She told herself over and over again.

But she couldn't. She defied herself and stayed awake, wondering how Luke was feeling now.

Was he remembering her brother's cruel words? Was he remembering the boy sinking into the Qliphoth, hearing his dying screams as he sank to his demise?

Tear closed her eyes. She remembered too. They all did, and it had affected them in some way.

She bit her lower lip once again. Was Luke remembering when they had all turned their backs on him when they were on the Tartarus? Left with only Mieu to comfort him?

Tear suppressed a sigh. She stopped herself from trying to find out. What good would it be?

Maybe I'm trying too hard to compare to his pain.

She realized she wanted to see how Luke was feeling now. She wanted to know what he was thinking now. She wanted to share Luke's pain, wanted to find a way to comfort him, wanted to see what she could do to help him.

Tear wanted to ease Luke's pain.

She quickly scolded herself. No, she couldn't. He had to go through with this himself, alone, so as to grow up. Tear couldn't, and wouldn't let herself interfere.

But, how badly she wanted to breech the rules, just this one time. How she longed to break her promise, fully knowing that it would be the wrong thing to do.

She didn't care. Anything to make him stop suffering.

I suppose I'm going through a trial myself. She realized.

Tear, herself, was suffering too. She had to listen to his weeping, and force herself to not comfort him. She had to tell herself over and over again that this was for the best, even if it felt bad now.

She knew she could ignore it all. Knew she could block it all out, and let herself go back to sleep.

But I won't. I can't.

Tear didn't know why, but now she wanted to stay awake. As much as it hurt, she made herself listen.

After all, she was the only one hearing this nightly grieving, and maybe that's why she stayed up. To keep him company, even if he didn't know she was there and awake. To watch over him, like some sort of silent guardian angel, offering support that couldn't be seen.

She didn't know why, but she wanted to keep him company. In fact, to tell the truth, she didn't really care.

She just did.

Maybe there was no explanation for her acts, and that was completely fine with her. She didn't want to explain. She just wanted to do. Just once she wanted to act spontaneously. Do something without thinking. React instead of worrying about it.

She wanted to feel free.

She wanted Luke to cause that feeling.

She heard his sobs get louder, his hiccupping in the middle of it. It hurt. Her heart hurt so much.

I want to help.

But she couldn't, and she knew she couldn't.

Then, instead of thinking of the consequences, she did.

Tear sat up and looked to Luke's curled up figure on the bed. She began to sing the first fonic hymn.

"Toue Rei Zue Kuroa Ryuo Toue Zue"

Suddenly, his shaking shoulders slumped, and his sharp, short breathes slowed to form one regular slow breathe.

Luke had fallen asleep.

Tear climbed out of her bed and walked to Luke's side. She bent over, holding back her long hair to see his face in the dark. Trails of tears stained his face, yet he looked peaceful.

She frowned and sighed, sitting on her knees at his bedside.

"I know I promised. I know I shouldn't have done that." She whispered to him and shook her head slowly. "…But it hurt, Luke. It hurt having to hear you cry like that. I…I don't want to see you like that."

She looked down, and felt her throat tighten. The tears came to her eyes, but she blinked them away.

"…This is the only time, alright? The only time I'm going to help you like that. From here on, you're on your own, Luke."

It was a lie. She knew she would cave in once more. She knew she'd do anything to protect him.

She knew she was falling in love.

That's the end of it! My, what a bad ending I wrote. D:

Sorry the writing is so repetitive and boring. Goodness, my writing is seriously getting bad…

And if you're wondering when this is set, probably somewhere after Akzeriuth was destroyed. I'm not certain where. :/

Anyway, thank you for reading! I hope you have a wonderful day! Ciao:3

-Apple Fairy