Disclaimer: I don't own Peanuts! It belongs to the wonderful Mr Schultz!
Hey, all! I'm kinda new to writing Peanuts fanfic... Please, please, please review!
A few heads-up:
This will have more of a modern setting, and the characters have aged a bit (and will continue to do so as the story goes on). This will be primarily Lucy/Schroeder, but I would be happy to take suggestions on a few minor pairings!
Thanks, and enjoy!
There was a gentle breeze blowing as they lay under the stars.
It was quiet, but peacefully so, and the leaves and grass shifting created a soothing melody not even Schroeder's able fingers on piano keys could replicate. This sweet song was a welcome respite from Beethoven, even he had to admit.
He glanced over at the dark-haired girl beside him. Lucy was gazing at the sky almost dreamily, her large eyes occasionally drifting closed. She turned her head slightly as their eyes met for a brief minute, and Lucy gave him a small smile. This time, he didn't hesitate to return it. Lucy was still loud and bossy, but also faithful and kind; as they grew older, Schroeder found that her presence, her quick remarks – her love, even—was as much a part of him as his beloved piano. And although he hated to admit it, he had become rather fond of his best friend.
Tonight, though, she was still, and the two were enjoying the first warm night of the year. At her suggestion—no, her relentless nagging—Schroeder reluctantly pulled himself away from his music to go stargazing. His initial grumbles finally subsiding, he let the tension leave his shoulders in relief as he lay on the fresh grass. Nothing beats a few hours of Beethoven, he thought, grinning… but this wasn't so bad.
Schroder snuck another peek at Lucy. At thirteen, even he had to admit that she looked pretty—no, decent, he reminded himself rather forcefully—although he'd never say it to her face. He would never hear the end of it. Her black curls fanned out from under her head, as dark as her classic, wide Van Pelt eyes. Under those was her sweet but slightly upturned nose, giving an almost offensive look to her otherwise delicate features. Lucy's mouth, which he still thought was too big for her own good, was currently closed, pink lips turned in a slight smile. Overall, she painted an appealing picture, lying there in the grass—he stopped that thought rather quickly. Sure, she turned out okay, he allowed that, but he definitely did not find her attractive. Good grief!
His blue orbs snapped back to the heavens quickly. He shifted to the side rather uncomfortably –why was it so damn hot all of a sudden?—but he froze when he heard a muffled sniff.
"Lucy?" Schroeder ventured cautiously, shifting his head. "Lucy, are you alright?"
"I'm fine," came her forceful, guarded answer, but he knew her well enough to find the slight tremor in her voice. "Lu, are you crying?" he asked, appalled, now facing her fully. Now, he could see the shine in her eyes, and the small twist in her mouth. Poor Schroeder felt a little flutter of panic in his chest. How do you deal with a crying girl? Not just any girl, but Lucy, his best friend, who could pack a punch harder than any boy he knew, who he was sure even as a baby had never shed a tear (although screaming was an entirely different matter).
"No," Lucy replied with dignity, "I am not crying, Schroeder. I just got a blade of grass in my eye." Her nose was lifting up again in the classic Lucy style, but this haughty air contrasted greatly with the depressed look in her eyes. Schroeder took her hand hesitantly, trying to comfort her but also afraid of a slow and painful death by her hands if she exploded. He squeezed softly as he looked at her encouragingly.
Lucy sighed in defeat. Schroeder was almost triumphant—I've still got it.
"I miss my dad, Schroeder," she whispered plaintively, squeezing her eyelids shut. She hiccupped quietly as her lip trembled. Her friend winced; Mr. Van Pelt was killed in a car accident about a year ago. Lucy had always been the closest of her siblings to her father; she had been hit the hardest after his death. Schroeder had known better than to bring it up and this was the first time she mentioned it. Perhaps to anyone, he mused.
Lucy wasn't finished. At his gentle push, she admitted, trembling, "I miss him Schroeder… he understood me, protected me… I wanted to be just like him." She paused, as a lone tear fell from her eye. "Schroeder… sometimes I feel like he left me alone."
Schroeder could only stare. His heart went out to her—he could feel his heart thumping rather painfully, he hated to see her cry—but he stuttered. "Lu, I—I'm sorry," he fumbled, miserable. But his ashamed eyes caught her tear-filled ones, and he took courage. "He didn't leave you alone," he stated resolutely, earnestly. "You have your brothers, and your mother. You have Violet, and Patty, and even old Charlie Brown!" At this, he was pleased to see her crack a small smile.
"And you?" she ventured hopefully, peeking at him.
"Of course," he assured her, his heart suspiciously thumping again. She rested her head against the ground again, content as she rubbed away any traces of tears. Schroeder was less sure, still watching her protectively as he grasped her hand. Caring for her was now second nature to him; it was rare, however, that the situation called for him to shelter her. Usually Lucy could beat her problems on her own.
But he knew Lucy was okay when she said quietly, "You know, Schroeder, my dad loved the outdoors… that's why I think of him when I see the stars. Did you know, he taught me the constellations?" No, he did not know, so Lucy proceeded to teach him her favorites.
"That one's Ursa Major," she pointed, "Also known as the Great Bear."
Schroeder wanted to see her smile again, so he squinted. "I don't see a bear," he huffed, "all I see are a bunch of dots."
"Right there, blockhead!" she giggled, pointing harder at the sky. Truthfully, he still saw no celestial bear and proceeded to let her know rather haughtily. Lucy rolled her eyes, laughing again. "You're hopeless, Schroeder. Simply hopeless."
His response was a handful of grass dumped rather unceremoniously on her face. She shrieked, and so ignited a rather fierce battle that disrupted the peace with yells and laughter.
The next hour found them rather sleepy on the field, the grass fight over with Lucy as the clear winner. Schroeder was feeling ridiculously happy despite his defeat, because her hand had somehow found its way into his again. He sighed, more content than ever. He could easily fall asleep like this.
It seemed Lucy had the same idea, for when he glanced at her again her eyes were shut again and her breathing even. He had no idea how he was supposed to wake her up without receiving a punch in the face (he had learned this lesson the hard way a while ago) but decided to leave that problem for later.
It turned out, however, he wouldn't have to worry. The silence of the night was interrupted by her sleepy voice.
"Schroeder…" she murmured, slightly slurred. He sincerely doubted she was even awake. "Schroeder, will you tell me something?"
"Sure, Lu," he responded curiously, playing along.
"Schroeder, will you ever leave me like my dad?"
He stiffened. Shocked, he wondered if she was waiting for a response, whether it really mattered what his answer was because she wouldn't remember it anyway. But then he looked at her face and couldn't lie.
"Never, Lucy," he said quietly, brushing a stray curl from her forehead. "Never. I promise."
She sighed; her lips lifted at the ends, and fell truly in a deep sleep. Schroeder relaxed too, his eyes drifting closed. The weight of his vow was on his chest, but he didn't regret it; he would never again hurt Lucy. Not anymore.
As sleep took him, Schroeder's last thought was that he never broke a promise.
Tell me what you think!