Chapter Thirteen

"I'm really just not sure what to do." Heaving a sigh, the small, purple squirrel leaned her back against the headstone. "Pix thinks I should keep away from him because he's," Lulu paused, crinkling her nose slightly before chortling, "unstable. But I don't know. I mean, it was kind of weird when it happened but at the same time…" a second sigh came forth as she smiled. "I really just like being around Veigar."

Lulu stood up, taking several small squirrel-steps away before turning back "What do you think, Dad? You know more about boy yordles than I do," she laughed. "Or you, Mom? Is it… normal to like someone so much? I mean, you must have really liked Dad to agree to be his mate."

Unsurprisingly, the cemetery remained quiet despite her questioning. For once, she felt a little silly to be asking advice of her long-dead parents… especially as today was a Monday. Had she ever made a special trip out to Bandle City so early in the week?

A rustling noise some distance away could be heard, and Lulu quickly climbed up on top of Dad's marker to investigate. Nema stood by her son's gravestone, mourning him silently. It was surprising to see her again so soon… even after ten long years she still came so regularly?

Itching for someone to talk to, Lulu jumped to the ground, rushing towards Nema at top speed. If she couldn't ask her own mother for advice, perhaps Veigar's mother would do? Then they could bond and become good friends and- Lulu skid to a stop just a few plots down from the other yordle. No. She hadn't even told Veigar that she knew his real name yet. It had been a little difficult to after he- Lulu shook her head, clearing her mind of the strange, fuzzy feeling that filled it. The point was that she couldn't face Nema yet. Not now. Not with so many secrets. Lulu turned away, bid her parents farewell, and climbed over the cemetery's wall.

The idea of returning to the forest made her nervous. Veigar would likely keep to himself again, hiding away after whatever that was, but that didn't mean it was impossible for him to show himself. No, Lulu would wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow was a Tuesday. If there was ever a day to track her friend down, it would be then. But in the meantime… there was all to Bandle City to distract herself with.

Still a squirrel, Lulu ran as Pix followed high above. Across the rooftops, past the Mothership, and to the small, squire plaza that remained after all these centuries. An ancient tree stood in the center, just as large, if not larger, than she had remembered as a child. The parameter was filled with rows of flowers while children played on the wide, cobblestone path wrapping around the tree. This was the place where time stood just as still as it did in the Glade. The park across from what was once Lulu's childhood home.

It was here she met and saved Pix from being stuck in one of the many birdhouses nestled between the flowers. Here she returned and played again- only to be banished for using harmless magic.

Glancing to the plot across the road where her home once stood, Lulu sighed. At some point the house had been torn down, replaced with a small hardware store. This had been one of her earliest discoveries upon returning from the Glade. A poster on the window caught her eye and, despite her unease with the newer building, Lulu scurried to get a better look.

It could hard be helped, the way the bright colors and, more importantly, the large pink cupcake imagery called to her. "Cupcake Festival?" she tried to squeak, squirrel-eyes wide. Bandle City had a festival entirely dedicated to cupcakes? Lulu squealed, snatching the poster off the window with as much grace as a squirrel could muster before dashing around the building to hide as she released her transformation.

"Second Annual Cupcake Festival," the poster read. "Cake tasting… Market… Parade?! Pix, are you seeing this?"

From high above, Pix fluttered down, reading the poster from his friend's shoulder. "You're not planning on attending, are you?"

"Of course I am. Loo! There's even going to be Fireworks! I have to go to this. You know how much I love cupcakes. Oh! Do you think I could get Veigar to come with me? We could both sneak in together."

"What, after that strange moment last time?"

Lulu's purple face immediately filled with pink as the memory was recounted. "Y-yeah." Especially after last time. Veigar had been so close, his face mere inches from hers, hovering as if waiting for some unknown event to happen. It had felt confusing, strange, dizzying, but… good. "I think I'd like…" to be that close to him again. "To bring him. … If he'd let me," she sighed.

Rolling up the poster, she stuffed it into her bag, trading it for the small photograph she had treasured for the past five days. How happy they both looked. How happy he looked. Here, he was childish and carefree, perfectly content in the company of his mother. That same, perfect, amazing smile had made her tummy flip the first moment she had seen it all those weeks ago… the day they had fallen from the path and lost his hat. And then again three days ago after he'd almost- well, whatever that had been. Her blush renewed and Lulu groaned, covering her face with her hands. "I'm getting dizzy just thinking about him, Pix," she mumbled. "I mean, I liked him before. A lot. But now…"

Feeling a light tug from the photo, Lulu looked up to see Pix pulling it away. "Then don't thinka bout him," he stated, tugging a final time to yank the photo free and return it to her bag.

"But I like thinking about him. It's a good dizzy! I just don't understand it or why he left or what it means or what to do if it happens again or-"

"Alright, alright," Pix flew back up, landing on Lulu's hand to look her in the eye. "No more of this nonsense. We wouldn't want you to turn into that gooey blue rat, do we?"

"Blue… rat? Oh! Ruble? But what do you mea-" she stopped short, blinking as she recalled sitting in his mech suit, smelling the control and opening panels. He had been upset with her, she knew, for invading his prized possession but Tristy was just so big and colorful and fun that the yordle could not restrain herself. Then as he pulled at her arm, Lulu had found the photograph he'd hidden away. It had been a beautiful, clear shot of their fellow champion… Tristana. The photo of the Bandle City Gunner that her blue friend clearly did not want anyone else to see. Tristana, who Rumble would always seem distracted and embarrassed around. "… he feels the same way," Lulu muttered calmly, making the connection. "About her. Doesn't he? He even has a photo. Just like I do of Veigar."

Pix sighed, fluttering up to rest on her hat. "Let's go home, Lulu."

On Tuesday, he didn't show. Pix said this shouldn't be surprising but Lulu was disheartened all the same. Had he been called away for his secret evil project again? Or was he just…

… avoiding her?

The thought made her tummy sink, absolutely saddened that he might not want to spend any time around her. "Maybe… just forgot?" Lulu offered, glancing up to Pix for affirmation.

The fairy actually scoffed in response, prompting Lulu to scowl.

"Fine! Then we're visiting him!"

"Lulu! Stop it. He'd be here if he wanted to be so please, just leave-"


But he wasn't at his house, either. Perhaps not in days, judging by the spoiled food left out on the kitchen table. Lulu took a small amount of satisfaction in this. If Veigar wasn't at home, they he must be busy with his plan. Right? While that was far from ideal… at least that meant he didn't hate her. Hopefully.


Coming to a decision, the yordle opted to mend Veigar's sheets, tuck herself into the bed, and stay the night. She'd be here, waiting, whenever her friend returned.

Only he didn't appear Wednesday either. Lulu waited all morning before going out to trace his usual path. With Pix's words repeating loudly in her ears, she was not surprised that Veigar could not be found. He wanted to be left alone.

Lulu wouldn't allow that. Couldn't allow that. If Veigar was anywhere out in these woods Lulu would find him.

It took until it was nearly sunset before she found the northern trail far from Veigar's usual path. With only a vague sense of purple to go off on, tracking him down had been incredibly difficult. But found him she did, walking up the path towards her, metal gloves twitching all the while. Lulu felt herself sigh, a soft smile growing as she took the sight of him, so unprepared as usual, for her visit.

Lulu stepped out calmly from behind her tree, waiting, waiting…

"Oomph!" Until he walked right into her.

an: So uh I… have no excuse for taking so long. Despite this, I will try. Fully conceptualizing the second half of this fanfic has been difficult and lead to some serious writer's block despite having a finished outline. That and I've been RPing for Lulu on Tumblr and that miiight have eaten up my life. Oops. But here you go!