The day his mother is buried, Lucas spends crying.
Not from the very beginning. At first he is still too shocked to, still dazed from the running and the water and the lack of sleep. He is still awake and clinging to Claus for comfort when Lighter comes in and tells them in the gentlest voice he can muster that the grave is dug, if they want to come.
It takes him a while. He tries to move but his body won't follow. It's when Claus hugs him and pulls him up that he finally starts moving, lifeless and automatic. They go alone, the sun barely up and the village people still in bed after a long night. He feels cold. Claus's hand is his only source of warmth, and his voice the only thing guiding him.
They placed Hinawa high above the rest of the graveyard, at the edge of a cliff surrounded by sunflowers. They placed his mom deep under the earth, cold and damp with a tombstone where her head should be. He hasn't seen her since Claus pulled him away at her orders yesterday. Or was it today? He's not sure. He hasn't slept.
The tears start falling.
Claus gasps lightly and holds his shoulders but they won't stop, every bit as forceful and weakening as the river they fell in. They come and come and his throat is raw, radiating pain with each sob, and Claus has to hug him for real and hold him up because his legs are giving in like his eyes did and his body falls out of control.
His mind is blank.
He can't see, feel beyond them. His fingers clench at Claus's shirt like they did when they were washed away and his ears ring too loud to hear his own voice. It hurts.
When Claus finally lowers them to kneel on the ground, his loud sobs stop, but the tears don't. Part of him wants to lean against Claus, hide in his warmth and give some comfort of his own, but his body and the rest of his brain won't let him. He just kneels there. And cries.
When Claus leaves, he barely has time to register the information, wide-eyed and thoughts still slurred, before Claus is gone. He was smiling.
Lucas is still crying.
It's running that wakes him up. Running home to hide, from that grave, from the fact that Claus isn't there, from his grandfather's harsh words. Boney is the only one left, the only one he can hide in, so he does just that. Sits on the ground outside his house, leans against Boney and waits.
He waits for the rest of the day, until Dad comes in with a grim face and Claus's shoes.
(He spend the night awake. His bed –their bed –is cold and scarily large now that it's empty, and the lack of comforting breath makes his heart go mad and his throat spasm. When it feels like his eyes are going to water again, he stands and quietly leaves the house to sit next to Boney again. The night is as cold as the previous one, but it's nearly a relief after the fire and water, and Boney's heat feels right; not perfect, but comforting enough that he can stop the whine in his throat.
At dawn he hears faint echoes of music and shouts, and it reminds him too much of the chaos part of him is still stuck in, so he hides back inside. )
The day his brother isn't buried, Lucas is silent.
Claus isn't buried, because they didn't find the body. Dad says he's alive. Lucas is too numb to know. All he knows is that if Claus stepped back in the house he would throw himself at him and crush him in his arms, weakling or no, and tell him he's sorry, so sorry, he should've gone with him, he should've stopped him, he should have stopped to comfort him because he might not have cried but he knows Claus hurt just as much as him. He should have held him and told him that it's okay, he'll miss Mom too but they have each other, he can take over, be the warm one, the gentle voice in his sleep, just as long as they stay together. His mind is still choking in the fog, but his heart is already reaching out. But too late.
When he tries to eat some bread only to feel his stomach clench, he goes outside again.
The air is warmer, and a slight wind comes to wipe his uncombed hair out of his face. His lungs relax a little, and his voice comes back, just a bit, when Boney licks his hand. It would be a beautiful day to go play... the same kind of day that greeted him two days ago when he poked his head outside his grandfather's house and was pulled to play with dragos.
Hours feel like minutes, but an endless chain of minutes. He feels drowsy, if not sleepy. His body weights on him, and he weights on Boney's house, pets him absently.
The little monkey who climbs up to his house for a few minutes is his first reminder of the world outside, the friends he hasn't talked to in two days. He stares, failing to show his usual smile, and the monkey stares back, as if looking for something. He leaves without a word after a few moments of staring, and Lucas watches him go, trying to identify the nagging feeling in his chest.
When the sky darkens and his eyes still won't close, he stands.
He remembers, now. There is someone else who must hurt just as much as him. Someone with no-one to comfort him.
The walk through the darkening forest strangely feels like waking up. His dusty eyes clear, his muscles unfreeze and start moving again. The forest is full of smells-not the ones he's familiar with but those of burned wood and damp earth. He breathes in, slowly, deeply, walking steadily. Snakes rustle on lower ground, and he stays in the cover of remaining trees to avoid the strange buzzing he hears in the more damaged areas of the forest. He won't go all the way to Drago Plateau... they will want to be there just as much as he wants to see the bloody cliff again. No, there are places in this forest where they have met before, where they can both seek some comfort.
The hatchling is pawing mournfully at water when Lucas approaches. His head rises at the noise, but Lucas quietly walks to him, rests a hand on his head, presses his face against his side.
Both orphans, now. His tears come back when it finally hits –he's alone, now, just one grieving parent to heal with, if he can. The little drago cries and nuzzles him, and he smiles under his tears.
He stays like this a long time, senses and heart finally clearing. It hurts, but his body, his thoughts are finally his again. It's a pain he will have to live with, a weight he will have to carry if he ever wants to stand back up and search for his brother, alive or dead. And Claus deserves that courage, that loyalty. Claus who ran to fight a creature of nightmare with a knife so he would stop crying.
Chaos reaches his ears again. Moving in the shadows, he sees Wes and Duster –and a girl he has never seen before, with red hair and an aura that makes him pause for a second.
There are tanks behind them.
His emotions flare up again. Who are they, these men trampling over his forest and his day of mourning, harassing his friends and talking like the village belongs to them?
They don't belong here. The metal tanks remind him of the plates and screws rammed into the drago's body, their loud voices of the music he heard before the fire caught up with them.
Beside him, the baby drago is trembling too, crying out quietly.
He pets him and walks out of cover, moving between his friends and the enemy. There is only so much he will allow himself to lose.
Life starts by taking a stand.