I decided to write another RoguexLucy story, since I've really fallen in love with this pairing. This one's dedicated to lucyglitter11, and all the Rolu fans out there.
This is just the beginning, so it's a bit short. I hope you guys like it :)
Stranger At A Wedding
The first time I met the most annoying person on earth was on the first of July, 1951.
That, just by the way, was my twenty-first birthday.
I can tell you exactly what happened on that July afternoon.
Because that was the first chapter of a new life.
"How do I look?"
My mother touched my shoulder. "Beautiful, Lucy. As always."
I ran my hands down the dress I was wearing. Silk. Mom said it was lilac in colour. Perfect; I hated lilac.
"Always beautiful to you, Mom," I grumbled, but then I kissed her on the cheek before turning to find my cane.
Ah, that cane. Another thing I hated.
I made my way out of the room. Mom hovered near me as I walked over towards the front door and slipped my boots on.
I'd had them for as long as I remembered, and the feel of the familiar leather felt great. I always wore these (much to my mother's disapproval.)
"I wish you could have stayed, honey," Mom said to me sadly. I stumbled for a second, trying to rest the cane and turn back to talk to her at the same time.
"It's my best friend's wedding, Mom," I shrugged. "Of course I'll go." Though I couldn't see it, I knew my Mom was still frowning. "I'll be back soon," I added.
We—my mother, Layla Heartfilia, and I—always spent my birthdays together in the house. We've had an unusually close bond all my life, doing almost everything together, so I guess it didn't thrill her to not keep up the routine.
More importantly, ever since that evening five years ago, she has been reluctant to let me do anything at all. By now though, she doesn't object.
It was great to have a fraction of my freedom back.
The ride to Kardia Cathedral was short and dark. Always dark.
My hair was blonde. It used to be long and wavy, but I remembered the time I got over my last fit, when I was sixteen, and decided I was a new person. I didn't want to be the same girl anymore. I remembered feeling all my hair getting snipped off until it barely brushed my collarbone, and I've kept it that way ever since.
Mom said I look beautiful. I still didn't know.
Everyone always said I looked exactly like Layla. Like a clone. Somehow, I remember my Mom's face better than my own and I know our eyes are a deep brown.
But I hear her voice everyday and I can hear the smile in it. My voice seldom has that.
I was greeted with a sudden squeal and a rib-crushing hug as I got off the cab and stepped forward. I felt the short, soft curls of the girl hugging me and laughed. "Hey, Levy." She had jumped up to hug me; she was short and petite enough for me to tease her by calling her 'Little Blue', courtesy her shock of blue hair.
My three best friends, right from the geeky middle school years, through the dark times in high school to our years in college and now, included Levy McGarden. I was sure Erza Scarlet was here somewhere, and it was Mirajane Strauss getting married that day.
We'd been inseparable for all these years, and I had a hunch we'd stay that way.
"You're early," Levy pulled away, and tugged me forward. It was sunny—it wasn't just exceptionally warm, but I could feel the sun beating down on my face. "Happy Birthday, by the way."
I touched the heavy crystal doors of the Kardia Cathedral as we entered, and smiled a bit. "Thanks. Did you see Erza yet?"
"Yeah." She replied after a pause; she probably nodded again before realizing that was useless. That happens a lot. "She's with Mira right now. She looks…" Levy pulled me along somewhere to the right again. "Breathtaking."
"Well, it's Mira," I said. "She's the only one of us who won't look messed up on her wedding day." I paused. "Apart from me and Erza, of course."
Levy swatted my arm. "Hey!"
"Where are you taking me?" I asked after a while, and we stopped somewhere quiet. It was probably deserted—I couldn't hear anyone speaking.
"End of the passage," Levy answered. "It's easier to breathe here, without fifty of the Strauss uncles breathing down our necks."
I remembered the cool, frosty look of Kardia Cathedral, especially the gigantic glass windows, one of which I almost broke by accident once. I hadn't been here in years, but this glittering place was one of the beauties of my town, Magnolia, which one tended to remember.
Levy took my free hand and pushed something into it. "Here," She said, and I knew she was grinning. "Your birthday gift."
I felt the hard object in my hand; it was a box. "What's it?"
Her fingers closed over mine and she unclasped the box. "It's a locket. A ladybug—the wings are half-open." She gave it to me, and I felt the chain, and then the locket. I traced the little body of the object, feeling small particles clustered together between the half-open wings, like she said.
"Don't worry," Levy said cheekily. "It'll make you less ugly, I swear."
I stuck my tongue out at the direction of her voice, but grinned. "Thanks, Lev. I like stuff on my birthday."
She chuckled and then flipped me around to fasten the chain around my throat. "I know. You're welcome."
We were interrupted by a loud call. "Guys!"
"Erza," I guessed; only one person a voice that excited and that loud, my tall, hot-tempered redhead friend. Till date, I have been jealous of her hair, her figure, her height, and the list goes on.
Levy took the box from me, placing it back somewhere probably, and then we walked over towards Erza. My cane made a strange, thud sound on the polished floors.
Erza talked to me excitedly for a while, before saying, "Come on. It's time."
The three of us blew out a breath, almost as nervously excited as Mira herself as the two of them led me towards the benches on either side of the aisle. Somewhere, the band began to play a soft melody and Levy nudged me. "Here she comes."
"I still don't know what she sees in that Laxus," Erza grumbled next to us, and I tried to suppress a giggle.
Erza had been friends and enemies with the boy Mira started dating back in high school at the same time. She had never liked his piercings or his sharp tongue or that disconcerting scar on his cheek, but we all knew for a fact that no boy had ever treated the gentle Mirajane as kindly as he had. It was like she was his one great weakness, and we still shared stories of how one furious look from Mirajane in the rare moments that she got angry could leave the tough guy Laxus on his knees for her.
"Did you braid up her hair?" I whispered to Erza, and she remained quiet. I figured she nodded; Erza had never been as careful as Levy had, so she still shook her head or nodded when I asked her something without realizing it. "Good," I said after a second.
It passed quickly. The vows were read, there was a loud cheer, and suddenly everyone was up and moving about and talking and congratulating them. Erza and I reached them first, and then I was embracing Mira and we were both crying a bit all of a sudden. Then Laxus cracked one of his absurd, disgusting jokes and we were laughing.
After a while it became claustrophobic for me again; there were too many people and there was too much talking around me for me to pinpoint who was saying what.
I broke free of the crowd; it was at these times that I had to step away to clear my mind and understand what was going on around me that left a bitter feeling in me. It wasn't normal to me. Too many voices always confused me now—I didn't even know who was speaking anymore.
Everyone was up, so I figured the benches would be empty. I searched for them, stepping forward hesitantly, and then my cane struck against something and I touched wood. At least I found a place to sit.
I sat there, resting my cane against the wall behind me. I gripped the edges of the wood, trying to clear my mind, when I was interrupted by a soft, curious voice.
"Are you alright?"
I turned my head up, towards the sound of the voice. It was male, and exceptionally gentle for one.
As I opened my mouth to answer, I felt someone sit down next to me. The same voice asked me again, "You okay?"
I shrugged. "I'm alright."
I turned my face away from the sound of his voice and shifted uncomfortably, wondering whether to get up and leave. I didn't even know who this was, taking such an interest in my wellbeing.
He spoke again:
"You looked like you were in pain…" He trailed off. I sighed. "Well, I'm not. I was just trying to clear my head."
There was silence for a second. Then: "That's a beautiful locket."
"Thank you," I muttered shyly.
So, this wasn't someone who knew me in the slightest. Definitely not of Mirajane's friends, otherwise he would've recognized me and not sounded so perplexed while talking to me.
"I'm Rogue," The boy said when I didn't speak for a while. "Rogue Cheney." He didn't sound familiar. A complete stranger then.
"Pleased to meet you."
I decided to just politely get up and leave, and I had almost stood up when I felt warm fingers brush my wrist.
"What are you doing?" I snapped. I felt my face turn into the scowl I knew I hated myself.
I felt his hand draw back. "Sorry," he apologized quickly. I realized his voice had a strange lilt to it, like it carried a melody. I had always loved listening to beautiful voices, like my mother's, and I could almost always notice it when someone spoke as melodiously as this stranger did. "I didn't realize you don't shake hands."
Feeling mildly annoyed, I took a deep breath and sat back down. It wasn't his fault, exactly. He was just trying to be nice.
"I can't see," I said, and I turned my unseeing eyes towards him. "We could try again, if you want."
He was quiet for so long, that I thought he'd left silently. But then I felt his fingers on my right hand again this time, and I raised my hand now. My fingers did an awkward dance, trying to find his properly, and then I got them. We shook hands.
I almost smiled. "Is that better, Rogue?"
"Better." Did he smile?
We dropped our hands, and I felt an odd tingle in my mine. Over the hum of conversation around us, we remained silent until I spoke. "Who are you?"
"I did introduce myself."
I clicked my tongue in annoyance at his response. "You know that's not what I mean. Are you a relative of Mira's?"
I could see a pale gray flash in the darkness before my eyes, and I turned my face away from the sunlight hitting me through the rose window above.
"I'm a friend of Laxus," Rogue said finally.
I nodded. Then, the same curiosity bubbling up inside my stomach that always came up whenever I met someone new, I asked; "How—how do you look?"
I wasn't always interested in the new people I met—not since I became who I was now. Sometimes, I was interested in knowing that person, but I didn't care mostly. I couldn't go through trying to imagine that person, trying to know what made them smile, trying to figure out whether they really meant what they told me.
But I couldn't help but talk a little bit more to Rogue Cheney. His quiet voice seemed to be so much more powerful than the loud words around us, strangely enough.
"Ridiculously handsome," Rogue replied, and I rolled my eyes, trying not to grin.
"Don't lie to me," I warned, faux stern.
He didn't laugh, but his voice seemed to do it for him as he answered me; "I solemnly swear that I speak the truth."
I felt a laugh escape me. "Rogue, please." Already, the name felt alright on my lips. Familiar, even, and I knew it was wrong to feel so familiar with someone I just met, but there was this ease in the way in which he spoke that made me feel comfortable. "Tell me."
"I'm not very good at describing myself," He said at last. "Or other people. Words aren't my specialty."
I sighed in frustration. "Fine."
After a second: "Did you get angry?"
I crossed my arms. "No. Though I would just like to let you know, that in my mind, you don't look ridiculously handsome."
"Hn. Is that my fault, per chance?"
"Entirely yours," I agreed.
He started to say something, the first syllable slipping out, but then he changed direction and asked me another question. "Can you—have you—do you know what you look like?"
As always, my shoulders tensed at that blunt question I had been asked more than once by people I never knew. "I wasn't born blind," I said, and the word blind again ate at me.
That was the tragedy, wasn't it? I had seen sunshine and seen myself and seen the people I loved before it all closed up in darkness. I didn't know which was worse—knowing what this world looked like and then never seeing it again, or not seeing it at all.
"What happened?" He must've seen the expression on my face, or sensed my discomfort because he added quickly and apologetically, "You don't have to tell me—you don't even know me."
"Happened when I was sixteen," I ignored him. I didn't have time for all the usual politeness and pity. I had talked to him long enough for me to know I couldn't just never become friends and forget about him completely, and also, he didn't have the horror-struck, pitiful curiosity in his voice when he asked me. He genuinely wanted to know.
"What's your age now?" He interrupted.
"Never ask a girl that, Rogue," I teased.
"I just—" I threw him a look, and he backed up hastily. "Sorry. Go on."
"It was an accident," I shrugged. I wasn't telling him what had happened that evening. No one knew except my mother, and it was mortifying for me to replay my stupidity back then that had led to this. "I got hit in the head, really. But when I woke up later—well I opened my eyes but it didn't matter." I let out a humorless laugh. "They didn't see any different than when I had them closed."
My hand absently touched my cane as I spoke. Then, irritated with myself, I got up and smoothed my dress down. "It's just an incident that ended badly," I said. "You don't have to listen to it."
"But I don't mind—"
"I do." He shut up at that, and I sighed. "I have to get home, Rogue. Goodbye." Logic chides me in my mind—why did I have to sit here and start a conversation with this Cheney guy? I barely knew Laxus, less about his friends.
"No—I mean, why?" I think he scrambled up, because he was standing next to me, our arms brushing, in the next moment.
I reached for my cane, and then felt it in my hand when he handed it to me instead. I took it, surprised a bit. "My mother likes me to spend my birthdays with her, and she's waiting."
"It's your—Happy Birthday," he said, a little breathlessly.
I touched the cane to the ground, though I knew I didn't really need it here. It was just a wide stretch to the doors, but I needed to maze my way to Mira first. "Thank you," I said again. This time I didn't feel so shy.
He caught at my wrist before I walked away, and I frowned. I didn't like it when people I didn't know did that. "Yeah?"
"You didn't tell me your name."
I turned back. "I'm Lucy Heartfilia."
"So…I'll catch you later, Lucy?"
I smiled at Rogue.
After ten minutes, I was still smiling as I left for home.
There, done :) Please do drop in a review, it'll encourage me to keep writing more. :)