A/N: I do not own Fairy Tail. By Jazzele's request, I'm planning to make this a series of LokeLucy oneshots. So, I'm accepting prompts or any ideas that you readers might have. ^_^


When he first met Lucy, his first thought was "She's cute," followed instantly by "I'm gonna make her mine." So he had wasted no time in approaching her in the same manner he accosted all the other women he dated—flirtatiously and with confidence in his own charm. He should have known better than to lump her in with those girls; she was obviously not the type to be easily swept off her feet by a simple wink and a well-timed smile.

Loke had felt a thrill at this discovery; he loved a challenge. It would make it twice as sweet when he managed to get through to her. He had smiled down at her as he held her in his arms, dismissing her protests by justifying that a princess like her—for she with her golden hair and creamy skin cannot be anything less than a princess—need not touch the ground if at all possible. Then her spirit keys—two golden and three silver—had glinted from the fluorescent lamps above and caught his eye. They clinked merrily between them, and to Loki it seemed as if they were mocking him, telling him that the one female he had truly been interested in was a stellar spirit mage, the kind that he had been avoiding like the plague ever since her. So he had backed off, convincing himself that he should–would—be content in watching her from the shadows. It didn't work.

It's not that he didn't try to stay away. Oh, he did. He stayed out later, picked up even more women, in an effort to not give in to his desire to go to her and tell her everything. Loke knew that if she found out about his exile, she would insist on helping him. He didn't want to endanger her just because he was too weak to bear the weight of his sin on his own.

But even as he surrounded himself with laughter and merriment, his loneliness gnawed away at him and the sight of her with Natsu and the others taunted him with what could have been if only he was human and mortal like her. If only he had been anything other than an exiled spirit trapped in the human world, like a fallen star unable to return to his place in the heavens. It was an apt comparison; he was Leo after all, one of the twelve Zodiac spirits after whom the constellations were named. Or was it the other way round? It didn't matter.

When he felt his magic—his life—winking out like a tired clock slowly and inexplicably winding down, he had felt relief tinged with regret. Relief because he was tired—so damn tired—of having to pretend that nothing was wrong. Regret because he would probably never see her again. He idly wondered if stellar spirits who disappeared were reborn as something else. If that was the case, maybe they could meet again someday in a different life where he doesn't have to distance himself for fear of dragging her down with him. That would be nice.

He had fully accepted his fate and was ready to fall into oblivion—or wherever he was meant to go if he disappeared—when she came to him and somehow found a way to save him. He would never forget that moment after their audience with the Spirit King when his eyes met hers and he had realized that this was the person he would fall in love with. He didn't know how he knew that. But the heart has reasons that reason cannot understand.

Looking back on that day in front of Karen's grave, when Lucy had proved to him the depth of her feelings for her spirits, he remembered thinking that if only Karen had seen them—him, Aries, and her other spirits—the way Lucy sees hers, he probably wouldn't have done what he did. Then again, if he hadn't, he wouldn't have met Lucy. In retrospect, his exile wasn't as bad as it could have been. True, he could have disappeared, but Lucy had saved him and their ordeal forged between them a bond that he had never felt with any of his previous masters.

His eyes traced her smiling features as she sat talking animatedly with Levy. Loke's lips curved into a smile. Yes, being banished wasn't so bad after all.

A/N: "The heart has reasons that reason cannot understand." Is not mine. It's by some Pascal (?) person.