A/N: Just some fluffy Luke/Tear! I really love these two, and I had a lot of fun writing this. uvu

Edit (March 2013): I read over this again today and made some edits, mainly taking out excessive descriptions and trying to make it more in character.


Luke's eyes fluttered open, his mind sluggishly piecing together his surroundings. He could hear a comforting fireplace cackling in the background, wood snapping softly every so often. Above him he found a dark, mahogany ceiling, dimly lit by the fire, and the absence of daylight indicated it was likely night. As his senses returned, Luke noticed that an unusual chillness had gripped his core, despite being practically smothered by a thick comforter. Soreness exuded from almost every inch of his body, resulting in a disorienting headache. But this headache was not accompanied by voices like he was used to. He attempted to search through his memories to discover how and why he had ended up in such a state, but it was futile, like trying to drink soup with a fork; everything slipped through his fingers just when he thought he'd gotten hold of an answer. All he could tell was that he was currently resting in the Keterburg Inn.

Faint whispers of a melody drifted past Luke's ears like a breeze, just barely audible over the fire's one-sided chattering. The tune sounded so familiar, but his mind was still stuck in too muddled of a state to recall where he'd heard it. It was sweet as syrup, pure as snow, calming and reassuring. With a somewhat pained effort, Luke pulled himself to a sit and scanned the room for the melody's source. The only other figure in the room he could see had silky brown hair, light and flowing over dark chocolate clothing.

It was Tear. Of course. As he closed his eyes and listened, Luke found he could recognize the tune: Yulia's hymns. He couldn't be certain that it was the Grand Fonic Hymn—he'd never heard it—but it was quite possible that it was. Even when she hummed to herself, Tear's voice was so delicate and beautiful. As his eyes eased open to scan the rest of the area, he found just the two of them were here. Though as he continued to gaze at Tear, in the golden glow of the fire's flickering light, he espied a small ball fluff resting upon her lap that she petted absentmindedly. A sleeping Mieu.

As he sat there, Luke debated whether he should rise from the bed and sit next to Tear, or just lie back down, pretending to be asleep while intently listening to her sugar-sweet voice hum tunes of reassurance. With her unfailing soldier's intuition, Luke figured that she already knew had had awoken. Or perhaps not. He chose to lay back down and wait for her to come, even if he had to wait until morning. His body was too weary to get up, anyway. But he wanted to be next to her; it was a new feeling that he had been encountering lately, one that had never once crossed his mind until now. How strange a feeling it was. He quite often found himself tongue-tied and nervous when he talked one-on-one with her. It couldn't be love, could it? Luke felt ridiculous at the mere thought of the word. Love! It was so girly. It wouldn't help him slay monsters.

Suddenly Luke felt a breath glaze past his cheek. He didn't know how long it had been there, but he knew it was Tear's, for a floral scent drifted past him, the same scent that surrounded her whenever they came in close proximity. He savored the sensation as the breath came in steady waves, every time sending tingles through him, causing his heart to beat restlessly in his throat and butterflies to flutter in his stomach. Fingertips brushed over his hair, back and forth over it as if to slow down the trepidations of his heart. It helped to draw out the soreness in his body and his unrelenting headache, that headache that was like a pestering child that wouldn't leave your side until you give them their desires.

"I'm sorry," whispered Tear. "I was careless. Next time, I will be the one to protect you. I promise."

A still silence hung over the air, but Tear's breath soon found way over Luke's cheek again. Something soft pressed onto his cheek, and Luke felt tingling heat creep up his neck and face. But he still refused to move. He didn't want Tear to know he was awake; if she didn't know, she would continue to carefully watch over him, breathing those sweet, reviving breaths. Just then, the breaths ceased. Luke felt her her head rest itself upon his chest. Deciding to take advantage of the opportunity, he shifted his arm from beneath her and placed it over her back.

Tear's head lifted itself from its resting place, and Luke could sense her gaze. He dared to let his eyes ease open and meet hers. For a single moment, he could read worry on her fragile face, but soon relief swept it away. Tear straightened on the chair she'd pulled up to the bed. Neither of them spoke for a beat.

Luke broke the silence. "What happened?" he asked, searching his mind for something to make her laugh. "Why do I feel like Asch just slugged me?"

Her lips twitched upward a little at this, and a quiet chuckle escaped her. After a moment's hesitation, she spoke. "You don't remember anything, do you? We were fighting a nasty group of ice wolves just outside Keterburg Bay. Things were going fairly well, but..." Tear floundered for the words. "I was careless, and one of the wolves lunged at me while I was casting a spell. You shoved me out of the way, taking the strike instead."

Tear stopped speaking, and Luke could see her eyes glistening in a way they never had before. He reached out and grabbed her hand, and she continued. "Luke, it was awful. By the time Guy tore it off you, you were covered in blood." Tear's voice was strained, and guilt tugged at Luke's heart. He'd never seen her like this, never thought her calm demeanor could crack. He wanted her to stop, but she kept going, voice wavering all the while. "I just sat on the sidelines like a helpless child, while everyone else did all the work. I couldn't heal you; I was in too shocked of a state to gather any Seventh Fonons, and…"

Luke sprang out from beneath the covers, despite protests from his stiff muscles and the pain at his side. Before Tear could say any more, he had grabbed her shoulders.

"Tear, calm down," he said. "It's okay. I'm okay. You don't have to worry anymore."

Her eyes, widened in surprise from Luke's actions, slowly closed. "I'm sorry," she said. "I'm glad you're all right. But please, Luke, promise me you won't throw yourself in harm's way again. You always do that. I don't—I don't want to lose you."

Luke couldn't remember anything from the battle, but from the sound of it, things had been pretty gruesome. His grip released on her, but his hands remained where they rested. "I'll try," he said. "But when we get out on the battlefield again, I can't guarantee anything. I can't let you get hurt, either."

She nodded in understanding, eyes opening again. "How are your injuries?"

"Still hurt. I'm stiff and sore and I got a headache."

A hand raised to Luke's face, tucking a strand of hair behind his ear. A little smile played on her lips. "Hold still for a moment."

Her hand fell away, and she slowly leaned in, pressing her nose against his. Warm, sweet breath tickled his lips, his heart racing from their close proximity. His fingers tightened a little on her shoulders, and he concentrated on breathing slowly, staring deep into her eyes. Her eyelids soon slipped shut, and she closed the distance between them, her lips pressing so softly onto his that for a moment, he thought it had just been a breath. But realization soon washed over him, and he returned the kiss, pulling her closer. With each beat of his heart, heat pulsed through him. The pain at his side was slowly drawn away by her fingers weaving lightly through his hair. Air became sparse in his lungs, but he didn't want to pull away, break this wonderful moment between them—

He pulled back anyway, breathless as the world span before him. His head came to rest against her shoulder, drinking in air. Tear's head rested against his, and she ran a hand along Luke's back.

"Do you feel any better?" Tear spoke quietly into the resounding quiet.

"Yeah," Luke murmured, smiling. "Thanks."

Luke let his eyes close and a sigh escape him, bliss replacing the persistent pain in his body—if only for a little while. Perhaps this love thing wasn't so bad, after all. That sweet, gentle melody came quiet at Luke's ear again, and he began to drift off into much-needed slumber, gladly allowing peaceful dreams replace the dark nightmares that had haunted his sleep on so many nights past.