Author's Note: Hi :) I'm new to the Fairy Tail fandom; this is my first leap into it! I'm also absolutely enamored with the Loke x Lucy pairing. Please regard this kindly and let me know what you think! This is an AU fic, with roots in the original story. My theme is reincarnation. Let's see how Loke and Lucy's love prevails through the strands of time! After all, their love is a love that breaks through barriers! =)
A stillness in the air threatens to swallow him whole—to slay him where he stands.
He struggles relentlessly against the enemy's restraints, metal digging into his skin, but to no avail. There's a moment's pause before an unmerciful blade pierces skin—blood splatters across his face, ruby droplets taking the place of his unwept tears. A furious roar begins from his chest, travels up his throat, and is released in a blazing rage.
He can't believe what he's witnessing; he can't believe his failure. It was his duty to protect her, to protect his master… to be her knight in shining armor.
He swayed slightly as the world spun around him. In his weakness, he casted the sky a solemn gaze, taking a few moments away from his grief to calculate how long he'd been here.
A spasm of pain brought him to his knees. He clenched the front of his buttoned shirt in agony, gritting his teeth. He had to endure it, he had to withstand this.
After the agonizing first few months, the pain would soon subside to a mere annoyance. He would get used to it. And then… three years would pass.
He would die... He would disappear from this world.
He ran his fingers across the smooth marble stone that marked her grave, allowing a small smile to flit across his face.
Although my love for you could not be realized in this world, I pray to Regulus that we will find our happiness one day… Whether it be in another world or another time… We will find each other again.
Feudal Era, Japan
A few hand signals from their Master, and they were in. His breath hitched in anticipation and anxiety—finally, their many weeks of delicate planning was coming to fruition.
Loke leapt nimbly across the tiled roofs, heading to his objective. In the distance, he heard Natsu activating the diversion, creating a ruckus in the way only Natsu could. Loke chuckled silently to himself. A sleek shadow flew past him to the compound's sole water source; Loke saw a glint of light reflect off the glass bottle from the moon's rays as Gray poured its contents into the well.
Everything was going as planned.
Now it was time for him to play his part.
Loke landed soundlessly in the main courtyard and entered the compound through an opened door. With the compound's layout ingrained into his memory, he navigated past sliding doors and lamp-lit hallways with ease. His cloth-cladded shoes made no noise to betray his intrusion, and within minutes, he found the room he was searching for. A few muted seconds outside the door confirmed there was no one inside. Loke slid it open and slipped inside.
He scanned the room, a satisfied smile making its way to his lips when he spotted a scroll marked with the kanji for "Rising Sun" resting on the Clan Head's desk. He grabbed it and stuffed it inside a small pouch at his waist.
He was halfway down the hallway when a piercing screech resounded from a lit room in the direction he had come from.
"Let me go!"
Something crashed inside the room as two pairs of feet fumbled across tatami mats. Loke's steps stilled, his heart racing inside his chest.
"D-don't you dare touch me! Don't come near me!"
"Oi, oi, no reason to be so mean… I only want to feel the warmth of your beautiful body tonight."
An argument between lovers, perhaps? An attempted rape? Whatever it was, Loke knew completing the mission was above all else; he couldn't let one small situation become the undoing of weeks of meticulous planning. Although his morals screamed at him to race in there and save the damsel in distress, his loyalty to his comrades propelled him towards his escape route.
"If you don't cooperate, I'll have to kill you… and what a shame it'd be, to waste such a lovely body as yours. I'm sure you value your life more than your purity, ne, Lucy-chan?"
Loke froze in shock. He had never heard that name in his life, and yet… and yet...
"I'll take my own life before I'm raped by the likes of you, you bastard!"
Without a second thought, he turned around and charged inside the room, throwing the door open. A burly man turned to look at him, shock splayed across his face, but Loke had eyes only for the stunned young woman backed into a corner of the room.
"Who the hell are you?" barked the man.
Loke swallowed with difficulty, captivated by the depth in the woman's beautiful brown eyes and the way her silky golden locks glittered in the moon light. Words rolled off his tongue with a fluidity he was unused to.
"I am simply a knight in shining armor, here to rescue my princess."
"W-who are you? Where are we? Where are you taking me!" whispered a furious voice next to his ear.
Loke sighed. "Didn't I already tell you? I got separated from my friends, so now I have to take this route through the forest. And remember to keep quiet," he muttered, while clearing a light path that'd be easier for the young woman to take. The woman gave him a skeptical look as she walked past him. It was clear she didn't particularly trust him. Loke didn't blame her, after the ordeal she'd gone through earlier.
As they went deeper and deeper into the forest, he worked diligently to cover their tracks. After a while, the blonde-haired woman began to notice and as a result, she lightened her footfalls and kept away from damaging the foliage as best as possible. Loke's approving smile was masked in the darkness of the midnight sky.
Not only beautiful, but intelligent as well.
About half an hour later, they finally reached the western edge of the forest. Loke broke the silence between them. "We'll stop here, okay? You must be tired, especially having to walk this far bare-foot, Lucy."
The young woman started. "How do you know my name?" she asked in suspicion.
Loke scratched the side of his forehead sheepishly. "Ah, well, I heard that man say it. It's difficult to forget such a beautiful name, you know?" He chuckled when he saw the light blush on her cheeks, illuminated by the moonlight.
"In any case, Lucy, I need to find my friends. This detour has cost me a lot of time, although of course, you're not to blame," he added hastily when Lucy frowned as if to argue. "Even though I have other matters of importance, I couldn't just leave behind a damsel in distress."
"You didn't have to save me. I didn't need any 'rescuing.'"
This time it was Loke's turn to frown. "Lucy, it wasn't right, what he was do—"
"He was my fiancé."
Loke did a double-take. He was left speechless for a few dumbfounding seconds, but Lucy's face showed no signs of lying.
"What?" he finally managed to gasp out.
Lucy grimaced and waved one of her hands. "Not that I chose to marry that bastard, though. In a way, I guess you could say you did save me. So thank you for that. Although I'll have to answer to Father sooner or later one day."
"Oh," muttered Loke, disappointed in himself. I risked our mission for something I didn't even need to get involved with. He sighed, but then realized that the woman was staring at him expectantly, as if waiting for him to answer a question. "Er, sorry I didn't catch that."
"Your name. What's your name?" repeated Lucy.
"Loke," he said. "My name is Loke."
"Loke, huh…? It suits you," said Lucy. She gave him a curious look. "So why were you at that disgusting man's compound?"
"It was a job from a client," Loke answered. "I work for the guild Fairy Tail. From what I hear, your fiancé was a man who dealt with shady people. We were given the task to take him out for a couple of days, as well as steal something he'd taken from our client."
"Fairy Tail?" said Lucy, a bemused smile tugging on her lips. "I've heard of you guys. Self-proclaimed jacks-of-all-trades with a penchant for disaster?"
"Yes, basically," he laughed.
Lucy's smile faltered at her next question. "…is it fun?" she asked. Loke was taken aback by how quiet her voice had gone. Where had the strong, demanding young woman gone?
With a gentle smile, he placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. "It's fun, and I know you'd love it. I'm certain our guild has a place for you, Lucy."
Lucy returned his smile, albeit hesitantly. "Thanks for the offer, but I'm not sure my father would allow that. He'd follow me to the ends of the country, if he had to."
Loke frowned. "Don't let him control you. You're free to make your own decisions, you kn—"
He raised his head sharply – the wind had changed. Honed instinct had him tensing his muscles and reaching for his knife.
In the stillness of the night, a bowstring snapped. An arrow came flying from the distance and embedded itself deeply into the right side of his chest, distracting him from his thoughts. He pulled out the arrow, its process agonizingly slow, trying to hold back a painful grunt. His hand clutched his wound and came away wet. Blood.
"L-Lucy," he gasped, "Get away from here!"
"W-what? What happened? You're hurt!" she cried out in realization.
A masked figure appeared behind Lucy, his sword reflecting the moon's light, poised to strike.
Body numb, Loke's mind filled with panic.
I have to save Lucy!
Fear jumpstarted his feet, forcing him into motion. His pained cry caught in his throat as the sword sliced from his shoulder down. Giving no time to register his injury, he swiftly withdrew his own knife and plunged it into the enemy's heart.
"Get away! Now!" he shouted, coughing blood. His sharp eyes caught the gleam of an archer's armor from a nearby treetop; he blocked Lucy with his body, doing what he could to shield her. "You need to leave NOW!"
I can't—I can't make the same mistake! I have to protect Lucy!
"B-but," she stammered. "I can't just—"
He spoke over her protests. "Back into the forest, head east. That will take you to the town." With difficulty, he grabbed the scroll he and his comrades had worked so hard to retrieve and shoved it into her trembling hands. "Take th-this there and ask for Natsu. N-Natsu Dragneel." The pain in his chest was making it difficult to talk and he was losing a lot of blood. His vision was slowly clouding over. Another arrow came whizzing by and grazed his left thigh. Loke fell to his knee heavily and tried to stem the blood flow from his chest with a clenched hand.
"No," he heard her faintly whisper. "I won't leave you, not after you saved me! We'll go together!"
A small but determined hand grabbed his stained red one and flung his arm over her petite shoulders. She wrapped her other arm around his body and trudged into the deep part of the forest. The archer stopped firing arrows, as if he had been ordered not to harm the young woman.
Loke wasn't sure how far or how long Lucy had been supporting his weight due to slipping into unconsciousness at certain points in time, but whenever his attention was diverted from the pain in chest and leg, he could only marvel at her perseverance.
What courage… What stubbornness. He chuckled to himself, gaining a questioning frown from the out-of-breath young woman.
"You should have left me," he answered in reply.
"Stupid," she muttered. She set her lips in a thin line, mustering up strength, and hoisted them over a protruding tree root. Sweat dripped from her brow and slid down her creamy neck and... Absentmindedly, Loke noted that Lucy's yukata was loosening from her physical exertion, allowing him an excellent view of her ample breasts. Not that he was looking, of course.
"How can I leave someone who saved me?" said Lucy as she paused to take a breather. She turned to face him, and he could see in the way her eyes were filled with resolve, in the way her lips were drawn in determination, and in the way she was physically exhausted but still not willing to give up, that she meant every word of it.
"How can I just sit back and let my friend disappear right in front of me!"
His eyes widened in shock. Loke raised his hand to brush away a few stray strands of Lucy's golden hair from her face, pausing to look deeply into her warm eyes.
Why… why do I feel as if…
An uncertain blush spread across her cheeks as the young woman spluttered, "W-what are you doing—?"
As if I know her, from another time… Another world.
Loke stepped away from her, staggering, and slid down the trunk of the tree. Blood leaked through his hand that was attempting to stem the blood flow. Lucy knelt next to him in concern and ripped off the bottom of her yukata to bandage his wounds. He could already feel it in his heart, though, that he'd lost too much blood… His vision was swimming and his breathing was strained.
Trying to come to terms with this solemn fact, Loke glanced at the tangled canopy above him and caught a glimpse of the clear night sky.
In contemplation, he sketched what had always been his favorite constellation: Leo. He felt his breath hitch in his throat when its brightest star drew his attention.
"Lucy…" he breathed. The young woman looked at him questioningly.
Memories were falling into place, into crevices in his brain that he never knew he had. It was as if… as if he'd been missing an integral part of himself, and it was just now that he realized he'd been crippled his entire life.
I see. I finally… remember.
"…my owner, whom I swore to protect."
"W-what? Are you okay…?" asked Lucy in concern.
"Why did it have to be now?" he coughed out, blood dribbling down his chin and staining the front of his shirt. "W-why?"
Lucy placed a consoling hand on his chest. "Shh, don't talk anymore… You're losing too much blood. You need to conserve your strength, Loke."
"Why do I have to d-die, when I've finally found you… I waited so long to find you again… to see you again. Th-the woman I love. My Lucy."
"E-eh?" stuttered Lucy, a furious blush enflaming her cheeks. "Y-your Lucy? W-what are you talking about?"
Loke chuckled hoarsely, feeling his strength ebbing away. She never did believe his declarations of love. He reached out for her hand. She took it after a moment's pause, and he reveled at the softness of her fingers and how tender her touch was. "I'm glad I got to see you again, Lucy."
"Stupid! You're not going to die! I won't let you!"
Loke's voice shook at the memories it brought back. "You never change, h-huh, Lucy? That's why I love you s-so much."
A tear drop splattered on his cheek. He looked up in surprise. "L-Lucy? Don't cry for me, p-please."
"I won't let you die! Damn it! You saved me twice!" She wiped her tears with the back of her hand. "Why can't I at least return the favor!"
Loke could feel his heartbeats fading, and his vision was growing hazy. With the last of his strength, he weakly lifted his other hand and caressed Lucy's cheek. She lowered her face to look directly at him, concern and fear filling her expression.
"I-in a past life…" he managed to speak, "I asked for the chance to meet you once again… when I failed to protect you." He ignored Lucy's bewildered look. "P-promise me," he coughed, "Promise me you'll break away from your father, and show the world your beautiful smile."
There was a slight pause, her hand in his trembling as she tried to contain her tears. "I-I promise," she whispered hoarsely.
Loke closed his eyes, sighing in content. "What better way to die, than in a beautiful woman's embrace."
Fate has such a cruel sense of humor, were his last thoughts before he drifted into darkness.
Night had already fallen, but not a single guild member had left the burial site. Tears coursed down each member's cheeks, cries of sorrow escaping their lips.
Lucy watched the mourning group from the edge of the forest. She hugged herself uncomfortably when she noticed a pink-haired man approaching her. She withheld a surprised yelp when the man grasped her by the shoulders with firm hands. His dark eyes met hers, and her fear dissipated into sadness. His red-rimmed eyes were brimming with unshed tears.
"You brought him back," he said in a ragged voice. "Thank you." With that, he let go of her and turned to walk away.
"Wait!" she called out.
He looked back, surprise etched on his sharp features. She reached into her pouch and grabbed a bloody scroll. "He…" she murmured. "L-Loke told me to give this to a man… Natsu Dragneel. Do you know where I can find him?"
"I'm Natsu," said the man after a moment's pause. He held out his hand to take it, an uncertain look on his face. "Why'd he give it to you? Don't tell me you were one of his girlfriends?"
"No!" she shrieked. "He… he just happened to save me, during his mission… he said."
Lucy slowly lifted the scroll, its weight feeling unbearably heavy in her grasp. An uncomfortable lump gathered in her throat as she moved to hand it over. She bit her lip, unable to tear her eyes away from the dried blood on it.
"Oi, aren't you gonna hand it over?"
"U-um… yeah." With trembling fingers, she dropped it in the man's outstretched hand.
Natsu looked at the scroll and then glanced up and scrutinized her with the oddest expression; Lucy shifted in discomfort under his unabashed stare. "W-what?" she asked.
To her shock, an earsplitting grin split across the young man's face; it was as if all the weariness and sorrow had washed away. "Nothing," he chuckled. He tapped the scroll against his cheek before heading towards his guild members. "You just look like you're about to cry."
What he said next shook her to her very core and left her speechless.
"Are you sure you weren't in love with him?"
There was a painful tug at her heart. A single tear slid down her cheek.
"Who knows…" she whispered.
Natsu's ears perked up and he swiveled his head to smile at her. "You know… A friend of Loke is a friend of Fairy Tail! If you want to, why don't you join Fairy Tail?"
Lucy was slightly taken aback. She hesitated, before glancing at Loke's decorated headstone marker.
"…is it fun?"
"It's fun, and I know you'd love it. I'm certain our guild has a place for you, Lucy."
Her voice caught in her throat. With light fingers, she traced the tear drop's trail down her cheek.
"Promise me you'll break away from your father, and show the world your beautiful smile."
A beaming smile slowly overtook her lips. "I'll join!" said Lucy firmly. "I'll definitely join Fairy Tail!"
And I promise you that I'll remember our past, Loke.