A/N: WOW I didn't know everyone would be that taken with the last chapter XD, thank you SO MUCH! Gee, apparently AUs are really 'in' or something lol. And WOW, second to last chapter! We're almost there! *blows whistle, trips off stage* I just watched Rise of the Guardians, so I may have to write a fanfic for Tooth and Jack XD. THANKS!
1 Year After Lego Movie 1
"Love is a strong word, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is, that's why he used it!"
Lucy groaned. Again. Not that Unikitty had an ounce of sympathy for her best friend, after all, only she would have this problem. Only Lucy would make a problem where there wasn't one, rope Unikitty into it by the throat, then complain that she wasn't helping at all. Only Lucy.
"Emmet loves you," Unikitty hissed through gritted teeth. Her cowering best friend huffed and crossed her arms over her chest, somewhat like a five-year-old told she really had to go to the doctor. "I'm sorry if that fact inconveniences you, but it's true, and you're going to have to figure out what's going on in that oddball heart of yours by eight tonight!"
If anyone could look at a friend with total bitterness and dissatisfaction, Lucy did it. "You're not helping."
"I'm not trying to help! I'm trying to get you to help yourself." Unikitty took another jittered glance at the clock, her vision twisted and halfway in her stomach as she did. Five in the evening. For a moment, she regretted being so deeply involved with her best friends. It meant dealing with them and their problems, it meant having expectations of fixing the issues, and this time, she just didn't know if she could fix it.
There was the look again. That look of total distrust, anger, and beyond that a bit of helpless begging. Lucy looked like a country woman lost in a big city. "What do I tell him? He's bound to tell me he loves me again, what the heck do I say?"
"I love you too?"
Lucy smirked. "Same here, Unikitty, but what do I tell Emmet?"
The answer was not as simple at a first glance. When Unikitty had come home, Lucy's face was a ghost, cheeks silver and lips quivering. Emmet was nowhere to be found, and considering Lucy was in a less-than-perfect condition, Unikitty assumed that the world had ended and she was hallucinating the whole thing. Further investigation told the whole story.
Emmet had, during a bloody battle, confessed to Lucy that he loved her. For the first time.
The battle distracted them both before she could give an answer, not that she had one.
Now, hours later, when they had a date in just a few more hours, something told Lucy, be it Unikitty or her own gut, that he was going to say those words again, and expect a response this time. What was she supposed to say? 'I don't know' was never something girls said to guys after he said, 'I love you', and she didn't know if Emmet could handle it.
But…she really didn't know.
After being silent for too long, either because she didn't have an answer or didn't want to give one, Unikitty muttered, a trickle of mirth running across her words, "I don't see how someone could not know if they're in love. I can only guess it means you're not."
"Hey, wait a minute." Lucy sat up against the wall, defenses pushing her chest forward to fight back. "We don't know that, I'm just saying I have no idea how to tell if I'm in love! Is there some blood test I can take?"
Unikitty rolled her eyes.
"I never loved Batman," Lucy offered, under her breath and under the radar. Unikitty looked at her again, sympathy and curiosity beaming out of her eyes. Lucy twiddled with her fingers as memories, memories she didn't care for and didn't like, rolled, and bounced around in her mind. "I can say I've only loved a few people in my life, and I've never loved anyone that way, y'know, the romantic one. I just don't know what it's supposed to feel like."
After Lucy had subtly rubbed her eyes against her hoodie, she picked her gaze up, only to find Unikitty grinning like she had just won a vacation across the world. Come to think of it, she always looked like that, but something about this smile scared Lucy a little. "Uh, Unikitty? Tell me that doesn't mean you have an idea."
"I have an idea…" It took all Unikitty's willpower not to squeal, but the words did enter the air in a very sing-song way.
By the time Lucy had checked the clock again, Unikitty was already down their hallway, shouting something about not moving a muscle. Lucy shrugged. She could do that. Not that anything Unikitty could do would help her, short of teaching her what love is in less than three hours.
Unikitty rushed back in, depositing a truckload of books, CDs, and DVDs onto the living room floor. "I'm going to teach you what love is in less than three hours!"
The book titles were…interesting, to say the least. The variation in literature that Unikitty had chosen was wild, from psychology books to fairytales, from wedding planners to couple albums, if it had a heart sticker or was covered in pink, Unikitty owned it. She titled her head to her best friend, who had begun arranging them by difficulty, skepticism flashing across her freckles. "Uh, Unikitty, I don't know if this will work. I mean, I think this is the type of thing philosophers and people with more than three hours of time tried to learn. We're not going to learn it with Your Brain and YOU and The Princess and the Pea."
Instantly, Lucy saw her mistake.
"You've challenged me, Wyldstyle." Unikitty grinned, a tint of future evil mastermind in her grin. "So, sit down, zip your lips, and prepare to defeat Cupid."
"MY GOSH, Unikitty, I get it!" Lucy finally screamed. She would have felt bad about it, but she had held in the holler so many times that at this point, she felt her mentor kind of deserved it, and even if she didn't, I felt pretty good at the time.
The princess across from her didn't seem fazed by her outburst in the slightest way, and that irked something in Lucy that she didn't care for. "Alright, it's ok! Just say it with me…"
After a moment's glare, Lucy relented, "Love is deep affection for a person and wanting the best for them. There, happy?"
"It would be nicer if you smiled while you said it…"
Unikitty dodged the pillow.
"So, I don't believe that love is caused by chemicals in your brain, and I tell people so every time I go online, which usually gets me banned pretty quickly. Anyway, I believe love comes from here." Unikitty tapped her pointer to a chart, right on the heart of the human. "Now, some people think the heart's purpose is to pump blood, but I think that it does that on its spare time."
Lucy knew all of this was totally false, but it didn't seem worth arguing. "Uh-huh."
"Good. Now, what do you think people feel when they're in love?" Unikitty poked her pointer into the ground and awaited Lucy's response.
"No, I mean, like–"
"I don't know, when you…"
Her best friend's color drained with frustration, and Unikitty nearly told her to stop stuttering for an answer. It wasn't fair to drive her mad, and she really didn't want to get hit with a pillow anyway. But then…
Throwing her hands in a wild attempt to clutch at an answer floating in mid-air, Lucy finally responded with, "I don't know…happy? Content? Like you can take over the world? Like someone cares about you, like you're valued? Like life is this amazing thing when you have someone next to you who would do anything for you?" The worlds had hardly left her mouth when she realized she had practically recited Unikitty's lines.
The teacher grinned. "Excellent."
"…and they all lived happily ever after!" The book closed with a snap and sent dust flying in the girls' faces. "Well, what do you think?"
A light air flew through her chest for a moment. "Well, for starters, Cinderella should have thrown her sisters and step-mother in jail instead, but…"
Thought she had never intended to say it, in this dim moment when the fairy tale books seemed to have so little effect on Lucy, Unikitty chose to voice her less-than-kind thoughts. "You are possibly the most unromantic person I have ever met, and I know Batman."
"Hey, I'm romantic!" Lucy, again, attempted to defend the honor she didn't own. "I do plenty of stuff with Emmet that's romantic, I just don't do show-and-giggle with everything like other girls do over martinis." The very thought disgusted her, and Lucy spun the quarter she had found under the couch once more on her knee. She could feel Unikitty rolling her eyes.
"Ok, what romantic stuff do you do with Emmet, stuff that isn't his idea?"
At first, nothing came to her. Nothing. She thought of things Emmet did for her, like buy her little gifts and bring her flowers, comfort her in a weak moment and cry with her, but she couldn't think of what she did.
Then it all rushed forward.
"I ask him to take me to scary moves so I can hold onto him. I pretend it's a lot cooler than it is so he'll put his arm around me. I check on him first after every battle. I water Planty when he's busy. I–"
"Ok, ok, I believe you!" Unikitty's lighthearted laughter filled the room, and she patted her best friend on the back. "See, we're getting somewhere? So, do you love Emmet?"
Lucy's face fell. "I don't know."
Unikitty shut the TV off and grabbed her fifty-sixth tissue for the night. "Ok, did that help anything?" Though she had seen the movie hundreds of times before, she had never noticed how Julia and John grabbed hands halfway through the film, which meant everything was in a totally new light…so she cried. A lot.
After no response greeted her, Unikitty turned to face the other side of the couch, where Lucy snored, fast-asleep and sprawled out with a pillow.
The pillow to the face was not a pleasant way to rejoin the living, and Lucy sent a glare Unikitty's way the moment she could feel her face again. "I would hit you back, but you're probably mad enough."
"How much of that movie did you see?"
"Uh…I remember the part where Julia runs to the park…then that's about it."
"That's five minutes into the film."
Watching her warrior best friend reduced to a whimpering (though Lucy would detest Unikitty using that word) pile on the floor elicited some sympathy from the hardened teacher, and she cuddled down next to her on the floor. Lucy rubbed her head briefly, then drew her hands into her hoodie and tucked her legs in. She was in no mood to talk, though Unikitty wasn't ready to give up. "Let's try this again. Are you attracted to Emmet as a guy, a partener, and a teammate in life?"
"Yes, yes, and that's a weird phrase, but yes."
"Ok, so what's the problem?"
There was no groan. No holler, not moan of aggravation, no red flush in her face. Lucy merely mumbled, from her curled-up state, "I don't know if I'm 'in love' Everyone in movies...they just know. I don't know what that feeling is, and I can't lie and tell him I do when I don't know if I do."
Just as Unikitty had finished piecing together the odd sentence in her head, Lucy whispered, "It was nice, when he said he loved me, y'know? Before the panic kicked in that I had to tell him something back, it was nice t-to hear…that…that he loved me." Her throat was closing and tears started hammering at her sore eyes. She didn't let them out, but she didn't fight it back nearly as hard as she could have.
"Lucy…" The use of her real name brought on a look, a look of gratitude, warmth, and friendship, and Unikitty smiled right back. "…I'm the last one who wants to say this, but this may just be a time thing. I don't think you're not in love with Emmet, and I think eventually you will be and will know what it feels like, but for now…I don't know if you can say you are."
Again, Lucy had to rub her eyes against her hoodie, a thing she commonly did when she was about to cry, but don't worry, the two were completely unrelated. "I know. So, what do I tell him?"
"The truth. Emmet is sweet, he'll understand."
"I hope so."
Nervous? No, people on their way to the doctor, the dentist, were nervous. People who had to take exams were nervous. People who had to confess wrongdoings to their parents were nervous. Lucy had to go to the dentist to get a cavity filled for the first time. She hadn't studied for the test that decided if she would graduate. She had to confess to her parents in front of her little sibling who looked up at her. Nervous didn't begin to cover the sick feeling sending Lucy to the bathroom in false alarms every five minutes. She never felt like she had to throw up, but now? Who knew?
"Lucy, you've got to breathe a little." Unikitty felt her forehead once more, but it was cooler than the mean girl in fifth grade. "You're not sick, so I can't write you a note, you're going."
"He's going…he'll h-hate me." Lucy's throat gave her the choked-up feeling once more, and she berated herself for getting so close to someone, before immediately banishing the thought. Even if tonight went through the worst-case scenario, the year she had spent with Emmet was still the best in her life and she wouldn't trade it away for anything.
Unikitty shook her head. "He won't, he loves you!" She winced. "Well, maybe the wrong choice of words, but you do have to breathe, ok?"
The breath was shaky, but present, and Lucy nodded. "Ok."
A knock rung out at the door, four times in rapid succession, Emmet's knock. Lucy's eyes, bloodshot and broken, shot wide open. She shook her head fervently at Unikitty in one last, desperate plea for mercy, but the princess wouldn't have it, and she opened the door.
"Hey, Emmet!" Lucy wondered if Unikitty was either a very good actor, or just able to switch her moods at the flick of a wrist. "Are you ok? You took a nasty scrape at the battle there, I wanted to make sure it wasn't too bad."
Waving her off, Emmet continued to smile as he revealed a small scar on his right arm. "It's nothing, Lucy said it'll heal up in a couple weeks. For now, I think it makes me look kind of tough."
The injury vanished from his mind as he spotted Lucy, who had just worked up the courage to stand up and meet him. "Hi Lucy!" Emmet quickly hugged her, and she froze in his arms. He was warm, even after coming in from the November weather, and she would never understand why. Something curled her arms around his neck, and she pressed forward to hold him tighter. Something loosened. She breathed. It would be ok.
"Missed you," he murmured quietly, and Lucy just caught Unikitty sprint into the kitchen. "Oh, here, I brought you something!"
Pulling back, Emmet dug into his pocket, grabbed something that was at least small enough to fit in the palm of his hand, and opened to show her a small, jagged piece of red plastic, hooked onto a necklace chain. "Do you know what this is?"
She had to thank Emmet. The confusion of the small object made her forget the doom that surely lay ahead, and she bent to get a better look at the item. "Uh, garbage on string?"
His laughter was her favorite sound in the world. "Depends on who you ask. This is a tiny piece of the Piece of Resistance that chipped off at some point. I thought it was lost, but I went looking for it again–"
"Again?" Her voice was disbelief.
Shrugging, as if it was nothing, Emmet replied, "Yeah. But I finally found it, got a chain, and put it on. Now, you can always remember our adventure together!" The smile on his face was too much to bear. Emmet looked too happy to be in an apocalypse, too happy to be with someone like her, and why was her heart beating at a thousand miles a minute?
"Can I put it on you?" The sheepish tone of her voice persisted, even as she stared at him, frozen. She nodded, and he carefully clipped the necklace around her neck. "You look really pretty, even with a piece of plastic around your neck." Emmet giggled lightly, took her hand in his, and pressed a quick kiss to it, one that left his own face flushing hotter and redder than red wine. "You ready to go?"
He tuned to leave, hollering a quick goodbye to Unikitty, and something thawed inside Lucy's chest. She wasn't sure what it was, it certainly wasn't her heart, but it melted like chocolate, and her brain caught up with whatever it was that finally sparked alive in her body. She tugged Emmet backwards, caught his lips and kissed him, hard and loving where he stood.
They had kissed before, and the fact that he didn't feel it necessary to narrate like a comic book (like others did who shall not be named) while they did it was already a step up. But something about Emmet kissing her left her feeling like everything in the world would be ok. It was sappy and probably untrue, but it always made her feel a heck of a lot better.
Finally, when oxygen got impatient and tapped them each on the shoulder, Emmet pulled back, breathing heavily and stuttering, as usual. "Uh…should I ask what…what that was for, or…"
Lucy grinned so wide it nearly spilt her face. "I love you, Emmet Brickowski. A lot."
And somewhere, in the kitchen, a princess cat-unicorn had to hold in a squeal.