A/N: This is more of a warm-up/"easing myself back into it" kind of chapter, so it's gonna be pretty short...but sweet. (hopefully...) I hope you guys like it.

Lucy's lips twitched, a sigh emitting from them before her eyelids began to instinctively flutter open. The moment the light of the room hit her pupils, however, she was met with a sudden surge of pain that felt like it was piercing through her skull. Her eyes immediately snapped shut as she let out a tiny groan of pain.

"...Lucy?" she heard a voice call from her left.

She groaned again, this time placing one of her hands over her eyes.

"Why are you yelling?"

The voice let out a chuckle. "If you weren't so hung over you would realize that I'm whispering."

"Well whisper softer, James," Lucy muttered.


"James..." she called, her eyes beginning to flutter open again.


"Why are you in my apartment? Why am I hungover?" she inquired with half lidded, confused eyes. Lucy had turned to her side to face the person next to her, trying to focus on the blurry image that clouded her vision. She didn't sound upset. She didn't sound annoyed. Just curious.

James reached over to brush a strand of her red-streaked hair that had settled in front of her right eye behind her ear with gentle eyes. Lucy didn't even flinch. The atmosphere was oddly comfortable and she had no intention of ruining it. She didn't feel that urge to pull away and keep to herself like she normally would have, but she wanted to. This feeling was new to her and she wasn't sure what to do with it.

Or maybe she didn't have to do anything.

"Well," James started off. In a softer tone, Lucy noted. "We were at a party, you had a little too much to drink, so we all left early to bring you home before you started to make a fool of yourself," he explained. His response was a little laconic, but Lucy preferred it that way. "I...I brought you to your apartment to make sure that you were okay."

Lucy tilted her head a bit. "Did you stay here all night?"

James wet his lips. "I did."


"I wanted to."

Lucy's breath caught in her throat. She could see him clearly now.

Between his nurturing actions and the way he was looking at her with those deep, hazel eyes, Lucy couldn't help but think that James' words had some kind of cryptic meaning. She looked away, but not without seeing the disappointment that began to fill James' features.

Lucy forced herself to sit up on the couch, trying to ignore the headache that was still very much present. She let out a sigh.

Noticing her discomfort, James began rummaging through the paper bag that sat beside him. He cleared his throat.

"I uh, went out a few minutes ago and bought you some tea...it should still be warm," he says, placing the thick paper cup onto the floor. "I also brought back some painkillers for you in case...this happened." James handed Lucy the cup, his word referring to the headache she was suffering from.

She took the drink from him gratefully. After a few careful sips, she offered James a small smile.

"Thank you...for everything. I know you didn't have to do all of this...and I just want you to know that I appreciate that you've been so...nice to me lately," Lucy says softly, looking down at her cup.

"It's no problem. I did it because I-

"Wanted to?"



James' eyes widened at question. "Isn't it obvious?"

Lucy didn't answer to this. Of course she knew, she just wanted some kind of confirmation before she went jumping to conclusions. Why? she wasn't so sure of that yet.

"Lucy...you know I like you, right? I mean, I know I haven't been the best at showing it in the past but I want to how you that I really do care about-"

"Don't," Lucy interjected. Okay, maybe she wasn't ready to hear this just yet. She hadn't meant for her tone to be so biting, but she couldn't let herself fall into the same trap again.

But James understood. He didn't press the issue. He knew she knew how he felt.

He shuffled to his feet and let his eyes wander around the room

"Ok, well...I'm gonna head back down to the crib. Do you need anything else?"

Lucy wasn't the kind of person to leave things unsaid. So yes, she did feel like she needed something else. She just wasn't sure if that "something else" would be good for her or not.

'Nonetheless, she shook off her fleeting thoughts and bid James good-bye with a: "Nope, I'm fine. You don't have to worry about me."

But...he wanted to. And Lucy couldn't help but wonder if she wanted him to.

A/N: I'm really sorry this was so short, I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself by over thinking it so I just decided to post it. I hope you guys enjoy it nonetheless (: I've missed you!