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Science of Love

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Atom - An extremely small amount of a thing or quality. (The basic unit of a chemical element.


 

 

Life was peaceful, happy, even perfect in her small world. Not much happened to disturb the daily routine of everyday living. she had her mama, a person who provided for her. Gave her love. Encouraged her to do whatever she wished, though there would be consequences. But still loved her no matter what.

Next came her friends. There were very few that she had. And those she did she clung to. Got fiercely protective over. Just as they were of her. And though they were brothers, very similar in several ways, she knew just how different they could be. Of course, she had learned they were something called half-brothers. Their older sister was one intriguing person, looking like their mother.

Last were her mama's people or extended family. They never got to be around much because of things. Things she didn't really understand. but for Christmas and the New Years, sometimes the summer festival, she got to spend a lot of quality time with them. They had strange customs and clothes. But no matter what, her mama was always treated with respect and kindness. And she knew they loved her as well. 

Her world was small, safe, content. Even if she wondered about her papa. A subject she tried to never talk about. It made her mama very upset and sad for days later. IF there was one unpleasant thing in her world it was not having a papa. Making her different from the other kids. Giving them a reason to be mean to her. Which she bore in silence to not upset her mother and friends. 

Part of the reason she kept to herself. Always thinking things over. She didn't try to be mean. Always was nice, helping others if asked. A smile ever presents on her face, until she was alone. The idea of perfection was stupid to her six-year-old mind. Even if she was constantly told she was the perfect child by the adults that came in and out of her little world.

"Lucy?!"

Blinking owlishly at the sound of her name, she lifted her head up. Flinching back at the bright glare from the sun to see one of her friends. Smiling at them, she stood up from the doorstep

"You were zoned out again."

Puffing up her cheeks she gave a soft sniff. Trying to look irritated. But as her friend smiled his quiet smile and laughter came from behind him. She knew she had failed and just smiled at them both instead, after peeking around him to see his brother. 

"Mom's working on a new Ice Sculpture. So Dad is taking the shaved ice and turning it into sno cones."

Feeling her eyes get wide, she stood up straighter, using her hands to indicate that they wait as she spun to go into the house. Squeaking in surprise as she went still seeing her mother leaning against the opened front door. Brown eyes dancing with warmth and amusement.

"Silver called ahead. Go ahead and go, Lucy. Behave yourself and be home for dinner," Her mother said.

Smiling widely she turned and looked at her friends. Seeing the matching twinkle of mischief in their eyes. Lucy sighed and shook her head, jumping from the doorstep and grabbing their hands. Giving them a gentle tug.

"Come one Gray, Lyon. I wanna get there before Ultear eats all the shaved ice,' She said, getting two loud laughs from her friends. Further proving all was right in her little world, that at least her world was perfect.

 

TBC

 

8th Day: (7/11/18)

Apocalypse: E.N.D. : (7/11/18)

Death Bonded: (7/11/18)

Devil in the deal: (7/11/18)

Diabolik Miko Diaries: (7/11/18)

Down the Rabbit Hole: (7/11/18)

Fallen Star: (7/11/18)

Feast of Flesh: (7/11/18)

Fighting for Enlightenment: (7/11/18)

Forbidden Fruit: (7/11/18)

His Brother; Blood & Magic: (7/11/18)

How it Should Be: (7/11/18)

Juxtaposition: (7/11/18)

Obsession: (7/11/18)

Past, Present, & Future: (7/11/18)

Predation: (7/11/18)

Red String of Fate: (7/11/18)

Science of Love: (7/11/18)

Silver Memories: (7/11/18)

So in Love with Two: (7/11/18)

SPACE: (7/11/18)

The Choices we Make: (7/11/18)

The Taste of a Rose: (7/11/18)

Tolerably, Intolerable: (7/11/18)

Twisted Fate: (7/11/18)

We All Fall Down: (7/11/18)

Zero to Gundam: (7/11/18)

Chapter Text

nuclear fission

n

(General Physics) the splitting of an atomic nucleus into approximately equal parts, either spontaneously or as a result of the impact of a particle usually with an associated release of energy. Sometimes shortened to fission Compare nuclear fusion.



Lucy didn't know what to make of things. Her world was no longer perfect. It had her worried, scared even. But she put on the smile everyone wanted to see and buried it as deep as her six-year-old self could. And it had all started two weeks ago when she had come back from eating shaved ice at Lyon's and Gray's house. There'd been a strange shiny silver car parked before her own. It was a car that she wasn't familiar with, causing her to almost freeze. 

Not many people came to visit her mama and herself, and those that did tend to walk for the most part.  Or in the case of the Clan members, they'd ride their motorbike. The Clan leader had a shiny red Corvette. But this car felt so out of place where it was parked, that and it had a person sitting behind the wheel. She didn't like that. It had her overactive imagination running in the direction that this person was here to harm either her mother or herself or worse, kidnapped and killed.   

Lucy had been thankful for the fact that Lyon and Gray were with her and kept her walking up the front walk to her door. Which as they neared it, they heard shouting from inside. This had Lucy's body moving quickly before either of her friends could stop her, she had the door open and was running down the front hall to the kitchen. Was a tall man with silver-streaked blond hair and a mustache was with her mother? Who was crying? 

At her sudden appearance, they looked at her. The man's black eyes bored into her. Making her feel smaller than she was and even more insignificant that she already did thanks to the kids at school. But she put on a brave face and just lifted her chin and stared back at him. Doing her utmost to keep from trembling and crying. 

"Jude, you will cease trying to intimidate her right now!" Layla hissed.

Lucy saw the man startle and whip his head to look at her mother. And Lucy could tell from the way he stiffened he was about to retort rudely. The look on her mother's face, one she knew well, had him stopping and hissing loudly. Then Lucy watched as he turned and marched right on past Lucy and out the front door. She could see him rudely shove Gray and Lyon out of the way. Once he reached the silver car and slipped into the back seat, the car started and was gone.

Highly confused, Lucy waved her hands at her two friends to come into the house. Then turned her attention back to her mother, who looked like she was so much older than she really was. Causing Lucy to hiccup. From there the explanation that Lucy got had her feeling disorientated. That mean, cold, distant man was her daddy... no father.  And he was not happy that she existed. 

Now, Lucy sat on the front stoop of her house and stared down at the well kept front lawn. In her hands was a piece of paper that her mother explained was an order from the courts that Lucy and her mother had to attend something called a hearing for the rights to where she would live. It confused her. She had always lived at 1317 Strawberry Street in Haragon. Why would her father want to take her away from her home? 

The thought had Lucy sniffling as a tear fell onto the paper, smudging the ink. Why did this feel like the end of her perfect world? Why would someone who didn't want her, demand to have her live with them? Couldn't everyone just get along? These were her thoughts when she felt warm arms encircle her tiny frame. Making Lucy look up at her mother. Who had in the past few weeks aged dramatically.

"Don't worry Lucy. I will go to the Clan and ask them to help. Your father will not take you from me. I refuse to let you live in that kind of world. Where there is no emotions, no warmth, and most importantly, no love," Layla whispered to her.

This had Lucy nodding mutely to her mother. She could now see the cracks in her perfect world. The world that always revolved around her. She knew that perfect was a false way to describe something. And even though there were faults, bad things, that were prone to happen from time to time. Lucy now knew that she could tell the others that she knew who her father was and that she had been glad the man hadn't been a part of her life.

Curling into her mother's Arms, Lucy rested her head against her mother's chest and cried. She hated feeling like this. Useless. And something told her that in the coming days, if not longer, that it would be something she would feel more and more.

 

TBC

 

8th Day: 7/18/18

Apocalypse: E.N.D.: 7/22/18

Devil in the Deal: 7/29/18

Diabolik Miko Diaries: 7/29/18

Down the Rabbit Hole: 7/30/18

Face First: 8/8/2018

Fallen Star: 8/5/2018

Feast of Flesh: 8/7/2018

Fighting for Enlightenment: 8/5/2018

Forbidden Fruit: 8/8/2018

His Brother; Blood & Magic: 8/8/2018

How it Should Be: 8/8/2018

Juxtaposition:  8/12/2018

Life in the Seireitei's Squad 11: 8/12/2018

Obsession: 8/5/18

Past, Present, & Future: 8/12/2018

Predation: 8/12/2018

Red String of Fate: 8/21/2108

Science of Love: 8/21/2018

Silver Memories:

So in Love with Two:

SPACE:

The Choices We Make:

The Taste of a Rose:

Tolerably, Intolerable:

Twisted Fate:

Unwanted Fraccion: 8/13/2018

We All Fall Down: 7/18/18

Zero to Gundam:

Chapter Text

Absorb [verb] Take in or soak up (energy, liquids, substances or knowledge), usually gradually.


 

 

Lucy sat there on the hard wooden bench in the courthouse. Eyes glazed as she listened to her mom and the man who was her father swear an oath to tell only the truth. While beside her, Lyra her 'guardian' for the time being held her comfortingly. It had been three weeks since she had first met Jude. And in that time, Lucy had turned seven, moved from living with her mom to living with Lyra (who the court approved until everything was done and said) in a small apartment just outside of the clan, had a long Q-tip swirled in her mouth.

Sighing as she listened to people speak on behalf of both her mom and Jude. Feeling lost, unsure of what was going to happen. Wondering what she had done that was bad to have her world turned upside down and inside out. The thought of having to leave her mom forever scared her. And that is what it seemed Jude wanted. Not that he had ever been a part of her life before this.

"Mrs. Heartfilia, explain to me in your own words why you separated from your husband," the man in black robes in a tall box stated.

At this Lucy focused more clearly on what was going around. Being lost in her own thoughts was not a good thing. She knew there was a small possibility that she'd be asked questions. It scared her, to have to answer things that she was not sure about

"I separated from Jude when I found out I was pregnant and he told me after finding out that I should terminate the pregnancy due to potential complications," Her mother explained.

Lucy lifted her head up and looked at Lyra, not sure what terminate meant. Though she sorta knew what complications meant. It sounded just like complicated, meaning difficult or hard do to something else. Or that was how her mother had explained it when she asked what makes something complicated after an older kid had told her that. The look Lyra gave her was sad as the woman shook her head to indicate that she wouldn't say anything.

"Please explain what you mean by terminate and complications please Mrs. Heartfilia," the man in black robes told her mother.

"I have a weak heart. Thus being pregnant, let along giving birth had high risks to my health. Jude wanted to use a surrogate to carry our child. But due to my clan's beliefs that is not a possibility," her mom stated.

Again there were many words she didn't understand. Mentally, Lucy started to make a list to either ask about or look up on her own after learning how they were spelled. Her mom always told her that she needed to study and search for answers on her own. Coming to her own ending to be a smart person. And she had done so on a few occasions when it was not too hard for her.

"Okay. Do you have anything else to add, Mrs. Heartfilia?" the man in black robes asked her mother.

"No, your Honor," was all her mother said.

There was a brief pause before the man in black robes asked Jude questions that were almost the same as he had her mother. The way the man spoke had Lucy pressing tighter against Lyra. Hushed murmurs coming from all around them at the responses Jude gave.

"Alright, now that I have heard your testimonies, I want to hear what your daughter has to say," the man in black robes stated.

When Lyra nudged her as a loud scoff came from Jude, Lucy didn't quite understand until her mother turned to look at her, arm reaching out and wiggling her fingers. Understanding that her mother was telling her to come over, Lucy did. Lyra holding her hand until they reached where her mother stood. Feeling very small as she felt everyone's eyes on her, Lucy swallowed as a stool was brought over and Lyra sat her on it.

Once she was seated, she saw the black book that her mother had placed her left hand on while raising her right and speaking the oath. Glancing around Lucy thrust her left hand out and held up her right one. Focusing on the little black book she now saw was a bible, she did her best to repeat the oath her mother and Jude had done. Hearing shocked gasp coming from those seated behind her.

"Well, I see you are a smart little girl aren't you Lucy?" the man in the black robes asked.

Mutely she nodded her head. Her voice was for some reason not wanting to work.

"Since you just swore to tell the truth, you are bound to do this. Do you understand, Lucy?" The man asked her again.

Once more she nodded her head in understanding. She had no clue why her words mattered. She wasn't an adult. But still, the thought of being taken away from her mother to live with Jude made her tremble.

"Can you tell me your full name please?" the man in the black robes asked.

"My name is Lucy Andromeda Heartfilia," she stated solemnly, her voice a bit squeaky due to how nervous she was.

"Good. Now how old are you?" the man asked her.

"I just turned seven a week ago, sir," she answered promptly, her voice still squeaking.

"Good. That means you'll be in second grade this fall, yes?" the man asked.

"Yes, sir," she replied.

There was silence as the man looked at her for a few tense moments. Knowing it would be wrong to fidget or look away, Lucy gave him the same respect she gave her mother and the Clan Elders when they talked to her. Anything less would be rude and she'd be trouble. Also, Grampa Sei-roo had told her it was a sign of weakness and that could mean bad things.

"You are resilient Lucy. Now, do you know why we are all here today?" the man asked.

She thought about all she had heard the adults whisper and talk about. Her mind doing its best to process what it had gleaned and stored away.

"That Mister Jude wants to make me come live with him?" she asked the man.

The slow blink and smile that appeared on his face set her only slightly at ease.

"In a sense, yes, Lucy," the man stated. "You had your mouth swabbed with a Q-tip a week ago. Were you told why?"

She thought back to why she had gone to the Doctor's office with Lyra and her mom's lawyer. The conversation that the three adults had while she stayed quiet and listened patiently. Not fully understanding everything.

"Uh... to get something called DNA from me, to see if I was Mister Jude's daughter?" she said, making it a question.

The gentle smile the man gave her told her that she had gotten it right. And there was a small chuckle that was distinctly her mothers. That was the chuckle she gave when she was proud of her for doing as she had been taught.

"Very good, Lucy. Now, I am going to ask you some difficult questions and you need to answer them truthfully as you can with what you know, okay?"

She didn't like difficult questions. They made her think hard and left her head hurting. But somehow she knew that this had to happen. And that these questions wouldn't be like what her teachers gave her. So, Lucy nodded her head. Feeling her hands get all slimy with wetness.

"Have you ever met Jude Heartfilia before today?" the man asked her.

"Yes," she answered, unsure if she explain more.

"When?" the man asked.

Silently Lucy counted backward in her head. It had been two weeks that she hadn't lived with her mother. And it had been a week before that she had met him.

"About... three weeks ago, sir," Lucy replied.

"What was meeting him like?" the man asked.

She didn't hesitate as she responded, "Scary."

This had the man blinking and glancing over to where Jude sat.

"Why was it scary, Lucy?" the man asked her.

Her throat felt tight as she thought back to what she saw when she had entered her home. The sight of her mother as Jude glared hard at her. Before looking at her as if she was something bad.

"He made my mom cry, then looked at me as if I was bad," she stated simply, her voice barely loud enough to be heard as she hugged herself.

"But he didn't strike you or your mom? Or yell?" the man asked.

"No, sir. He was angry at mom thought," she said.

"I see. Did you know before that day he was your father?" the man asked.

Lucy was unsure of what the man meant and looked at him confused. Before the man realized that she didn't understand.

"At any point in your life did you mom talk about him? Show you a picture so you knew what he looked like?" the man asked.

"No, sir. It was a topic that stressed my mom, so I didn't want to make her ill and learned to not ask," Lucy replied.

The moment the words left her mouth, Lucy regretted them. Because the man glanced behind her to her mother. Then again she remembered what her mom said about Jude, terminate, and surrogate. Did that mean he hadn't wanted her? If so, was that why her mom didn't talk about him? She knew her mom loved him, it was made clear that day when he came to their house. Her mom said she still loved him, just not what he wanted her to do.

"Is something confusing you, Lucy?" the man asked.

Blinking her eyes she nodded her head yes.

"Then ask, I will do my best to answer your questions," The man said.

"What does terminate and surrogate mean?" she asked, hesitating for but a second.

The shocked look on the Judge's face spoke volumes as it shifted from shock to sadness. Those words were not good words.

"Lucy, surrogate means someone who carries a baby for people who cannot have a child the normal manner. Your mother gave birth to you in the normal manner. And terminate means to bring something to an end or destroy," the man said, his voice solemn and cold.

Horror flooded her system. Her father wanted to make her disappear before she was born? Did he hate her even then? Then why was he trying to take her from her mother now? Was it because of her mom having a weak heart? Feeling her body shake as she looked at the man, tears in her eyes.

"I... want to live... to be loved... Does that make me a bad girl?" she asked as the first tear fell from her eyes.

"No, Lucy. It does not make you a bad girl. I believe he was angry that your mother left and risked her life for you. Then kept you away from him. He is your father and thus does have rights to raise you, Lucy, according to the laws," the man stated to her.

She knew that laws were important. There were the normal laws and the Clan laws. Which were different from the laws of the people outside of the Clan. Still, she had always wanted to have her father in her life. This was a chance to have that.

"We shall adjourn while I make my decision based on what was said today," the man said as hit his tall box with a wooden mallet.

When the man stood up and left, the man in the police uniform said they were all excused. Lucy looked at Lyra who appeared by her side and helped her get down from the stool. She didn't look at either her mother or Jude. Instead, she let Lyra lead her numbly from the courtroom as her mind soaked up everything that just happened. Needing to think and process it all. Because she knew that her life was going to change whether she liked it or not.

 

TBC

Chapter Text

[noun] The variety and abundance of life and its ecological context, including the different kinds of organisms, the numbers of species, the variations in their genes, and the complexity of their ecological conditions.


 



Lucy stood there listening to her current instructor. It had been a year since the Judge decreed that two weekends a year that she would spend with Jude, her father. In that time her world had both expanded and contracted in various ways. And not all of those changes were good in her mind. The only thing she was happy about was that her weekends with her father had to be supervised after her first to visitation with him. Because he had just left her in the care of his staff, whom she really did like.

But when the man named Max Alors, their case social worker, asked her how those visits went and she told him everything. No thinking much because she had been taught lying was bad. His cheery face darkening as she spoke about all the rules she'd been given. And in written format, then left to attend various studies and lessons her father expected her to master. On top of being left alone with the hired help. Apparently, that was a bad thing and the Judge had flat out told Jude that if he couldn't be there and act like a parent then he would lose all rights.

Something Lucy knew pissed him off. Having overheard him yelling in his office. The same office she had been specifically told on her first visit she was not allowed to enter unless he was in there and called for her. Which made her realize that to him, she was nothing more than a means to harm her mother. A pet that he got to take away from her mother out of spite. Lucy didn't really like Jude. But because her mother had asked it of her, she behaved and did her best. Pleasing the instructors and tutors assigned to teach her dance, piano, song, and various other things that she normally learned in school.

Which in the last year had changed for her as well? It took a bit to get used to the fact that she now had a prominent male figure in her life. So, when the other kids teased her, she had not reacted like normal. At least until Lyon spoke up that she did too and spent every other weekend at Jude's house. This led to a different type of teasing. The type where she was told she was only loved halfway by the man. It hurt because that was wrong. He didn't love her at all. Still, Lucy didn't let it show as she just stared at the other kids, shrugged and walked away.

Again she sighed as she was called to a halt at the piano, fingers stopping over the ivory keys and looking at the woman who was teaching her how to play.  A small shake of her head as she came over and maneuvered her body until she was satisfied Lucy was sitting straight, centered at the baby grand and her hands were 'crooked' just the right way. It was tedious and she loved playing. But this woman was just rude and mean. And Lucy was not blind, she knew she watched Jude with longing in her eyes.  

"Now start again at the beginning and play the concerto through correctly," the woman snapped at her.

She knew the song by heart now, how each key needed to sound when played. It was her mothers. She grew up listening to it on cassette and now CD. Moonlight Sonata was just plain beautiful. Lucy liked to think it was her mother's soul in music form. Once she finished the sound of the grandfather clock in the foyer chimed that it was time for her next lesson. Lucy hated this one. She didn't like to dance. Jude knew it too and his deep grunt had her sliding from the bench and marching past the woman who was eyeing him again. Ironic that she'd never had a chance to earn her father's attention, he just wanted her mother back and Lucy knew it was never going to happen.

 

000

 

Sitting quietly at the dinner table, Lucy ate her food like she was expected to. Glad her mom had instilled good manners in her. Which had been one of the very few things that pleased the man sitting at the other end of the long table? Her mind shifted and rolled in her thoughts.

"You did fairly passable today in your piano lesson. Lacked grace in your dancing. And perfect when you sang," Jude stated between bites of his food.

Knowing he wasn't expecting anything to be said in return, Lucy continued to eat. Her mind shifting to the start of school. It was only a week away. And that meant she'd be more preoccupied with her studies and friends. There were rumors in the neighborhood that there were two new families moving in. On top of one of her extended cousins getting to go to her school this year. She was excited about it. Though she really didn't want certain cousins at her school.

"I think you are ready to be presented to society,"

Blinking and whipping her head up to look at the man who was her father, Lucy felt stunned and horrified. She didn't want to be shown off like some trophy or piece of property. No, she wanted to just be herself. Already she knew about a few of his business contacts. That they had children and were interested in arranging a 'playdate' with her. Of course, Jude had said he wanted her to acclimate to the life she was supposed to have been born into. Hearing that had her seething mad after what she learned during the trial. Somethings a child could never forget.

"Yes, father," she replied. "When?"

He was silent for a bit before she saw a cold smile curl his lips. It had her fighting to keep from shuddering. That smile was never a good sign.

"Christmas. It will give you a few more months to be polished appropriately and I do have you this year," Jude said with a dark purr to his voice. "Allow you to meet and interact with children who will offer you a lot more

opportunities in the near future."

Putting the blank, detached mask she was learning to wear on her face, Lucy just gave a small polite nod of her head. Internally she was screaming like a child being drug into the horror house for the first time. This was not a good thing. Though she knew she'd have to alternate between parents for major holidays. And the last Christmas she belonged to her mother. It had her mind swirling with how sucky this was going to be. Because Thanksgiving was hell for her with all the stuffy people looking at her like she was disgusting and wrong.

 

000

 

Church was over, the long-suffering of sitting in a hard pew listening to a preacher didn't appeal to Lucy. Nope! She respected people and their religions, as was how she was taught. But her mother and the Clan were all Buddhist. Meditation and prayer. Centering herself and staying calm and collected. Thinking on a higher level while humming the mantra. That was what she was used to. The Catholic Church her father liked made her feel confined and smothered.

So, the moment she was out of the Cadillac, door shut, Lucy stepped away as the driver peeled out so Jude could get back to what was really important to him, work and money. She put a smile on her face as she marched towards the front door. Easily hearing her mother laughing, which was always a pleasant sound. Slowly she climbed the steps, knowing that her mother was more than aware that she was outside. Kind of hard to miss the sound of squealing tires as a car sped away from the curb.

"LUCY!"

At the sound of her name being shouted, she paused hand almost on the doorknob. Giving a small shake of her head she turned and looked to see Lyon and Gray standing, breathless, at the end of her front walk. Their dark eyes shining brightly as Ur came behind them. The woman was not what one would call beautiful, but she did have a stunning quality to her. These were the things she was, unfortunately, starting to notice about everyone. Ur's beauty came from hard classic lines, her messy dark black-blue hair and slightly slanted eyes.

"Hey, kiddo, back from another weekend imprisonment?" Ur asked her.

Giving a small shake of her head, staying silent, Lucy started to count in her head. She barely reached six before the two boys had her in a fierce protective hug. Clearly making sure nothing was physically wrong with her. They didn't like her father, they detested him. And their mother and father, as well as their older sister Ul were the same way.

Alright you two heathens, let her go. Or I let Ul play dress up with you," Ur said after a few minutes of them smushing her. "Besides I need to talk to her mother."

The way cool air filled the space the boys put between then had Lucy laughing. She knew that Ur would deliver on giving the boys to Ul, who was working towards being a Fashion Designer with her best friend, Meredy. Personally, Lucy loved being a model for them. Gray and Lyon, not so much. It was icky, girly stuff. Neither said stupid after that first time because they didn't like having both Meredy and herself crying at how both were mean. Boys could be dumb.

"Mrs. Buster? You need to talk to mom?" She asked.

The small nod of Ur's head spoke volumes. She rarely came down to talk to her mother. Unless something had happened. Which it seemed to be happening a lot more of lately. Turning back to the door, hearing another round of laughter coming from her mother, Lucy twisted the doorknob and opened the door. Stepping into the bright familiar interior with the three behind her, knowing Ur would shut the door, Lucy made her way to the kitchen.

"Hey mom!" she called out as she stepped through the arched doorway, seeing a small blond woman sitting at the table next to mother. "Aunt MAVIS!"

Her voice breaking at the high pitch as she ran to their guest. She adored Mavis. Couldn't believe her mother's half-sister was visiting. The woman was always so nice and polite. And only eight years Lucy's senior.

"Oh, Lucy, there you are darling," Mavis cooed as Lucy was pulled into a warm hug. "Layla you have a guest."

Peeking around Mavis' arms she saw Ur, and her two friends standing there looking a bit awkward. Then her mother laughed again and was up and walking towards them. Easily directing the boys to stay in with Lucy and Mavis in the kitchen while she talked privately with Ur.

"So, how as it this last weekend?" Mavis asked.

Lucy went still, frowning deeply. It took her a few seconds before she started speaking, "I have to spend Christmas with him. He wants to socialize me to his friends and their kids... I sound like I am property...."

The soft hum that came from Mavis as twin growls came from her friends, Lucy knew this could go south really quickly. But they were all advocates. Against her father and his custody of her. They didn’t like him, not that she did much either, but she was giving him a chance.

“Well, little star, I think I can make this so much better for you. He can’t turn down request from well known families right?” Mavis asked.

Lucy thought carefully about what Mavis was asking. She knew her father was all about reaching higher, more money. That was easy to tell even with her limited knowledge. There had been a girl at school who was like that. Being the best, prettiest, and most popular. Though this was the adult world, a bit more out of her scope. But she had heard her father talking about getting well known names to attend his Christmas party. Of course, Gramps name was well known. Meaning Cousin Mavis was well known.

“Yes, he wants more people to be there. Popular people,” she stated slowly.

The smile Mavis flashed was large, toothy, bright, but so cold. It had Lucy wondering what was going on behind her eyes. Because she once heard her mom telling Ms. Lyra that Mavis was brilliant and could do something called strategizing on many levels, lots of steps ahead.

“Then my sweet little star don’t worry your pretty head,” Mavis stated simplistically as she pulled Lucy into a fierce hug.

Something inside her told Lucy her world was going to be changing again. Growing even larger. And it made her feel very small and insecure.

 

TBC

Chapter Text

enigmatology  noun

enig·ma·tol·o·gy | \ -täləjē\ plural -es 

study or investigation of enigmas


 



Lucy stood there, silent and in awe of what she was witnessing. When she had told her Auntie Mavis how she felt last time she saw her, Lucy had not expected this... to happen. But Mavis had spoken very exact words, and right now, Lucy was having fun instead of feeling like some doll that was supposed to look pretty and not talk. 

 

From her spot by her Grandpa, Lucy watched as her father and a few of his business associates were run in circles by her mother's family and clan, the Zodiacs. She loved spending Christmas with all of them because they were all about the party, presents, and love. The best part was watching her father have to accept when people walked up and hugged him, slapping him hard on the back. 

 

"I see that smile, little star." 

 

Blinking and trying to smooth her face out, Lucy glanced over at Mavis and her new husband, Zeref Dragneel. She was familiar with Zeref's last name because his father was Igneel Draconis-Dragneel. It had been explained that the man had taken the name of his now-dead wife. Something in High Society and clans that weren't usually done. Especially when the Draconis family and clan were old and very powerful. 

 

"Lucy, please smile," Zeref said in a soft voice. 

 

Eyes going wide as the usually silent man spoke, Lucy shifted her gaze to him. Seeing the small smile playing at the corners of his mouth as his red-brown eyes met her own. It had her feeling shy suddenly, so she looked down, as her mind recalled attending the wedding last year when he married Mavis. It had been beautiful and a clash of cultures from what Lyra had explained to her. 

 

"Zeref," Mavis said, her voice was giving a soft warning. 

 

"Yes, dear," was his reply. 

 

Lucy watched as he moved away from them and Mavis wrapped her arms around Lucy's shoulders. It caused Lucy to relax and feel safe, just like her mother did. 

 

"He is right, Lucy, you should smile. It is alright, and if your father has an issue with it, then he can talk to me," Mavis told her. "Now, go play with Natsu and your other two friends Gray and Lyon. They were invited for your sake child. Also, Aquarius and Scorpio are here somewhere with their sone Delphinus." 

 

Feeling her eyes go wide as the smile she had been fighting to keep from her face split it in half, Lucy hugged Mavis. Then without needing to be told a second time, she was off weaving through the crowds. She loved Aquarius and Scorpio, and their new baby boy was so precious. 

 

*****

 

It was happening again, and it had her curling up into a small ball, back pressed against the wall as she listened. Her father and mother were fighting still about her. Their ideas on how a child was to be raised differed significantly. And it was something she couldn't understand. One of those great mysteries to her child's mind, how they could not see eye to eye. All she wanted was her mother happy because that was her happiness. 

 

Lucy knew that her mother was happy when she was happy. So why did her father have to take her happiness away? Didn't he know that? And why did he keep saying her mama was not in good health? Her mother looked fine. It was all too much, and Lucy pushed herself and turned and made her way back down the hall to rooms they'd all been given for the holiday. Of course, it meant that her father had an adjoining apartment to their own. 

 

Sighing as she reached the door to her mothers and her rooms, Lucy paused and wondered if this was something she could research? Because she needed to know why her father was this way. And why he kept saying her mother was sick. It sucked being a child and not being said anything. Though she wouldn't let it be something she would not learn about, being a child didn't mean that she wasn't going to snoop out information. 

 

*****

 

 Sitting amongst the shiny, crinkled, and ripped colored paper, Lucy looked at the various toys and things she got for Christmas. Her eyes were darting over to her father, who seemed to be in one of his moods. She knew what it was about, all the stuff that was littered around her like small trophies. And a part of her heart hurt. Knowing that if she wanted to keep this, it would be either here or at her mother's house. He didn't think she needed toys or other such distractions. 

 

Sighing, she put on her brightest smile, her mind trying to figure out how adults could be so different. See the same thing and disagree, conflicting as her mother once told her about it. One day she hoped to understand this better, even though her mother told her that it was one of those mysteries in life that only experience could teach.

 

TBC!