The first time Lucina had met her, she was passed out on the grass.

It was a strange sight to see on the first day of college, especially given Lucina had not expected to see anyone else in the college so early in the morning. It’s only 6:30, after all, and the first class isn’t until hours later, yet here’s someone snoring away in the courtyard like she’d been here all night.

Odd looking one, too. Fairly young, if not clearly having a bit of an insomnia issue with how tired she looks, yet her entire hair is patches of silver and amber, as if she had years of anxiety trapped hard enough for her own strands to fall apart. A first glance would take her to be on the poor side, with roughened up clothing that has shown years of use hidden under a scruffed up cardigan, but she can’t be homeless, because Lucina knows the administrator for this college, and he would have already been the most despicable kind of person to her by now if that were the case.

She’s resting quite peacefully, though, considering she’s on solid ground. She must be used to sleeping like this.

“Eh…?”

Oh, Lucina must have woken her up. Not that deep a sleeper, then.

The girl stretches her arms out as she sits herself up, yawning in an adorable high-pitched tone that contrasts with her large stature, before realizing that someone else is there, startling herself into shock.

“Oh!” The woman quickly looks away in embarassment. “I mean, uh, okay, I can explain, I got here too early and all the cafes weren’t open and—”

“No need to worry.” Lucina smiles, trying to calm the poor girl. “I’m surprised you can rest on the ground, though. Far better places to sleep, around here.”

“Are there?” She looks to the ground, the grass she was on leaving a slight imprint. “I-I dunno. Not exactly anything cushiony, and at least the grass smells nice, I think.”

“I suppose that’s a good point.” Lucina sits down next to her, taking in the morning dew. “It’s always quite nice to take in this early, isn’t it.”

“Yeah.” The stranger scratches the back of her head, before her eyes suddenly widen. “Wait, shit, how early is it? Did I already miss class or—”

“Settle down, the sun’s barely even out yet.” Lucina smiles again, which is apparently a surefire strategy against this girl since her shoulders quickly relax. “If you’d like, I can just call you when classes are soon.”

The girl looks slightly surprised. “You would do that?”

“Of course.”

While the girl throws open the flap to her shoulder bag, digging through to presumably get an agenda out, Lucina takes a look closer at her. Given how she must look to others, most must take her to be a threatening old lady; she’s massive in height, certainly hitting well above six feet, and the nature of her silver hair with how tired she seems to be would paint a picture that’s quite likely discriminatory in a dozen different ways. If a particularly rancid kind of person were to see her (probably also the administrator, to be honest), they’d likely treat her as some kind of predator for even being around a bunch of young people in a college.

Those points of view always seemed quite alien to them, though. When Lucina had met the woman that went on to be their best friend, everyone spoke of her as if she were an angry enigma of shallowness, but even one glance into her eyes revealed no hints of hatred nor anger, only fear. This woman feels similar, her brown irises showing no hints of negativity, so much as there is a discerning confusion for everything she’s focused on, as if she’s never quite sure if she’s doing anything correctly.

Lucina could be off on that, though. No need to act like all this psychoanalysis is accurate.

“Okay, uh, my first class is Mister…” She squints at her journal. “Eee-ther? Aye-ther?”

“Aether, you got it the first time.” Lucina stifles laughter, knowing how nobody ever gets that name right. “Looks like we’ll be heading to the same class, then.”

“You’re taking literature too!?” The girl gets a glint in her eyes for a moment, before composing herself. “I mean, um, y-yeah! That’s cool, I-I guess.”

“Isn’t it?” Lucina can’t help but giggle this time, to the stranger’s embarassment. “You seem like you’re excited for it.”

“I-I suppose I am, maybe…” She hides in her cardigan, face turning red in a way that’s kind of adorable. “Writing’s fun.”

“Oh? Is there anything you’ve written?”

“I mean, um, n-none of it’s very good or anything, just a bunch of poetry.”

“I think that sounds nice.” Lucina smiles again.

“I-it does?”

The girl keeps glancing to another notebook in her bag, her lips hesitating to say something else.

“I. Um. Okay. I’m not the best at picking up these kinds of cues, so I might be way off on my assumption here but the way you were talking about it—”

“I’d like to hear some of it.”

To Lucina’s delight, she immediately lights up.

The next few hours went quickly, as listening to amateur poetry quickly went to talking about fanfiction, which went to delving into their favorite shows, before trailing into games that the girl would shamefully admit into pouring far too much time into. She wasn’t the best with her tongue, stumbling through her words like she isn’t quite used to talking to others, but she had passion for all of it, stars lighting up in her darkened eyes every time she recalled something else to feel excited about. It was all so entrancing, her happiness so contagious, that it wasn’t until minutes before class that Lucina actually remembered to ask for her name.

Robin Grimleal. Her name befits her love for fantasy, if nothing else.

It made the first day of class feel whole, because of her. It felt nice to be able to bring a smile to her face.

Perhaps they could do that to her more often.


Sev~

Luc.

This was absolutely not what Lucina meant by that.

Sev~

Luc swear to fucking god you better answer me
Don’t make me throw something at you I’ll do it

It’s been several months into college now, and more importantly, two weeks since an extremely dangerous event had occurred. A dangerous event that, among another things, involved blurting out insecurities at their crush, getting confusing upsetting thoughts resulting in them cutting their hair short in a depressed state, wearing an androgynous cosplay of their roleplaying character as a coping mechanism, going to a bar in said cosplay because Severa said that’s how they could drink some of the sadness off and then, um.

Well.

Let’s just say they got Robin to smile in a lot of different ways that night.

Luc

Sev what is it

Sev~

Don’t you What Is It at me!
You know exactly what you did!!!!

Luc

Actually I don’t
You could be yelling at me for several things
Like not wearing matching socks

Sev~

I
Wait.
Oh my god Luc I keep BUYING YOU MATCHING PAIRS IN BULK FOR A REASON

Luc

It is dark in the morning and I just pick whichever ones feel similar

Sev~

Turn on some lights!!!!

Luc

I will not blind myself to do something only you care about

Sev~

Luc I swear to
Wait no, not my point
There are bigger matters at hand
Like how that woman is REACTING TO YOU LUC
WHAT DID YOU DO!!!!

They were kind of banking on the hopes that she hadn’t remembered anything about it. It was hazey for them as is, and they barely drank much alcohol at all, next to Robin downing several pints in a row. Sure, Lucina would love for it to be acknowledged deep in their heart, if only to rub it in a certain someone’s face—

(and oh, how miserable he would be at the realization, they think to nobody in particular)

—but it would be best, for their simple little heart, for them to let it be, and hope she’d forgotted.

She remembered. Jesus Christ, she remembered, and now she is terrified to look in their direction without breaking into a blushing grin, one that gives Lucina a lot of happy feelings that they absolutely should not think on for too long in public.

Apparently, their best friend also noticed this.

Luc

It’s erm
How do I put this
Do you remember what you said about that one bar a few weeks back?

Sev~

Outrealm?
Why would that even

Severa suddenly stops typing in the chat, and Lucina’s fairly confident they can hear a confused tapping on the desk behind them where she sits.

Sev~

You didn’t.

Luc

Well
It had nice drinks
I don’t know what I actually drank though

Sev~

Luc

Luc

I wasn’t very bright and bought vodka without anything to put it with
So someone else mixed in an actual drink for me!
Kinda like this gingery limey thing? It tasted good I think

Sev~

Luc what did you do with her.

Luc

It was
The second nicest thing
I tasted that night

Lucina hears a phone drop to the ground with a loud thud, followed by the scraping of chairs as their best friend scrambles to pick it up.

Luc

Actually no that might have been a more embarassing way to put it wow

Sev~

Lucina
von
FUCKING AETHER OH MY GOD

Luc

I think I get to partially blame this on you since you got me to go there

Sev~

OK ONE
I WAS JOKING ABOUT THAT.

Luc

You were?

Sev~

Oh no, like, of course I’d want you to go to the kind of place my mom would show up in!
OBVIOUSLY that’s not a sign that it’s a dated shithole with nothing but old grandmas, clearly!!!

Luc

Actually there’s nothing but old grandmas and also one extremely beautiful woman with tremendous taste in alcohol

Sev~

NOT MY POINT!!!
T W O! How do you even go
from THINKING SHE WANTS TO BONE YOUR DAD
TO
WHATEVER IT IS YOU DID

Luc

In a non cisnormative world it would absolutely qualify as fucking

Sev~

I

Luc

Among other forms of foreplay
In fact
I just remembered something else I tasted
I’ll need to drop that drink down to a bronze medal I think

Lucina hears a fist being slammed directly into wood. That one was definitely Severa, yes.

Sev~

Lucina.
I do not.
Want to hear.
the details of YOUR
FUCKING
GUH

Luc

I apologize for letting slip the fucking
That I did

Sev~

LUCINA YOU MOTHERFUCKER

Luc

Very vigorously I might add

Sev~

I WILL EVISCERATE YOU

It’s actually quite startling, how forward they are about this, given how utterly anxious they had been about that entire event for the entire time since up until about five minutes ago, but then they could say the same about when that happened at all, in that bar. There’s just something about the thought, seeing Robin calm and docile at their slightest touch, that made them suddenly more willing than terrified.

Robin can make them do a lot of things, it seems.

Lucina, it is ten in the morning on a Tuesday and you are in the middle of a college cafeteria, please calm down.

Sev~

Wait
Were you still in

Luc

The Hero King attire yes

Sev~

You
Fucked in the goddamn LARPING COSPLAY I MADE FOR YOU

Luc

It might have genuinely been the thing that made it all come together

Sev~

DO NOT USE THAT WORDING

Luc

Wait what
Oh right
Coming together
Well that did also happen

Sev~

GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Still, as fun as it is to gloat that Lucina has done something other than yearn for the first time in their life, this doesn’t seem ideal. Talking to her was genuinely very pleasant, and they haven’t been able to do that at all recently, primarily due to the whole fucking-in-a-bar thing. Everything feels a bit heavier, without her excitedly discussing recent novels she’s read and games she’s played.

It’s not entirely like Robin makes them feel lewd thoughts. Just, erm, when they see her face doing that thing.

Which, currently, is every time they look at her.

Luc

Do you think I could talk to her

Sev~

Wh
I’m sorry
You did fuck her?

Luc

I did

Sev~

And now you’re worried about
Talking to her
Am I getting this right.

Luc

It was kind of a spontaneous thing
Also we were drunk and sad

Sev~

God.
GOD!!!!!!
I cannot believe you’re the first one here to have gotten laid!
You’re so useless you had to basically trip into someone else’s tits
OF WHICH I’M PRETTY SURE
YOU

Luc

Those would be the second nicest thing I tasted yes

Sev~

MOTHERFUCKER YOU HAVE TOO MUCH SOCIAL ANXIETY TO BE GLOATING

Luc

I
Hm
Honestly fair point

Sev~

Actually
You know what?

Lucina hears her stand from the seat.

Sev~

You can thank me later for this if you want.
But I want you to know this is mostly me getting back for everything you said just now

Severa walks towards Robin.

Wait.

Severa’s walking toward Robin.

And now they’re talking with each other.

Oh no.

Luc

Wait come back
Severa
Severa I know you are looking directly into your phone

Sev~

:)

Luc

What are you telling her

Sev~

Nothing incriminating!
Because unlike some people I know, I am not one to say way too much about very personal things!!!

Luc

That you are talking with her at all makes me doubt that Severa

Sev~

Let me assure you, I am being a very good friend.
It’s like I said, If you want to thank me later…

Severa walks back, winking at them.

Sev~

You can.
Good luuuuuuuck~

She disappears out of view, and now, Lucina has nothing more to do than mope there, in eternal fear of what horrifying wreckage she had just caused. Did she tell her what they said? Oh god what if she told Robin about the tasting thing, that was just a joke bit to poke fun and even if it was absolutely true she doesn’t need to know that—

And then they hear their phone vibrating. A generic notification noise they aren’t used to, as it’s rare for anyone other than Sev and their father to message them.

stormblade

uh
hi

Oh.

Oh.

Luc

Hello?

stormblade

ok so important question
i would not happen to be typing words at a specific blue-haired lesbian of a possible nonbinary gender
and or i am just stretching way too hard with these assumptions idk

Luc

It is complicated but to simplify
You are typing words at that yes

stormblade

well just in case i
wait hang on
you arent kidding are you

Luc

This is the one occasionally known as Lucina

stormblade

oh
huh
ok gonna be a hundred percent honest here i was expecting to have to chat with some poor sap that the girl i was talking to was trying to bully or something
instead of the actual person she was speaking to me about
of which i also assumed she was trying to bully me in some roundabout way
except uh
she was absolutely serious about it as it turns out
wow i feel like a jerk for jumping the gun there

Well. This is a sudden turn of events, isn’t it.

Is this good? They aren’t entirely sure, to be honest, because this could very well go very horribly depending on what other information Severa had given. For all that Lucina should be happy that this is happening, the last time they sincerely talked about feelings with her they said some things they absolutely shouldn’t have said, and given how much they had already told Severa, it’s possible they’ll cause some trouble again.

And god, I’ve already caused so much pain for her to begin with.

…Still. Would be a bit rude to not respond, surely.

Luc

No she just talks like that

stormblade

its a very uh
i mean ive heard of a mean girls style but i have never watched that show so idk
i just feel like she talks in that sort of vibe though

Luc

She is very mean girls adjacent but only in aesthetic

stormblade

theres worse aesthetics to have i guess
like that one dean guy with the goatee

Luc

Oh god have you seen him too
He had to have changed his name to Gangrel surely
You don’t just get his name from a mother

stormblade

honestly id respect it a bit more if he had changed it

Luc

Right
Then it would feel far more deliberate

stormblade

yeah at least with that its like he read a ya fantasy novel one day and went “ah i have been inspired to become a cartoon villain man”
instead of god just deciding that he needed to look like
that

Luc

Maybe we’re being rude and everything he wears would look evil
Maybe he puts on a headband to go exercise with
But no matter how he styles it he becomes a Mad King with his dastardly crown or something

stormblade

dude puts on a dress jacket and the collar instantly rolls out to cover his face
morphing itself into snakeskin and brimstone aesthetic for the perfect evil dude look

Luc

Pfffft

It’s about as nice as ever, talking with her, and that certainly helps calm their nerves on the matter. For all of her clear lack of social skills, she’s far better at making it feel natural than she ought to be. It’s always been another reason Lucina’s convinced people are just judgemental, because clearly, more people would enjoy her presence otherwise.

Well, er, maybe minus the “snakeskin and brimstone” thing. That might just be endearing to them.

stormblade

uh
ok i have to ask this question even though there’s a nonsmall possibility of it absolutely backfiring on me and ruining me forever

Luc

First things first I need you to know that there’s nothing to worry about and I won’t judge you
Second
That did happen

stormblade

like
when you say that

Luc

It was a nice drink by the way
I would like to know what it is eventually

stormblade

i
holy shit
that wasnt just a dream (edited)

Given how they can now see the woman curled up into her phone in the corner of the cafeteria, Lucina is going to keep calming her nerves and conveniently ignore the another they definitely saw in that message for a few seconds.

Luc

I apologize for how I was like earlier that day
I had erm
Paranoias
Unrelated to anything on your part

stormblade

rrrrright
tbh i kinda blanked that part out on account of way more important things happening on that date

Luc

That is fair

stormblade

like yes i had a lot of built up fear and so on over that but that kind of worry sorta goes away when i ended up
uh
ok was i really drunk then or did you actually lift me up on the counter

Luc

I did

stormblade

jesus fucking christ that is incredible
yeah no i have succinctly passed the sad about being accused of dad fucking phase by virtue of that entire situation
now im just
perplexed
more than anything else

Luc

How so

Lucina glances over her direction, and finds a familiar sight; trying to hide in her own cardigan, looking as if her heart is too heavy for herself. They see her eyes for just a moment, and that confusion they saw the first time is setting in on her irises once again.

stormblade

how do i put this
you kind of just
have
the look
like the kind every sapphic on the internet loses their shit over
the butch with the muscles that can crack watermelons and flex hard enough to make every man in a two mile radius cry
you rock suits with ease and you rock tanktops even harder
you have this fucking smile every time too like everything you do and say is so goddamn natural
and then you throw the hairstyle you have right now alongside all of that and its like
holy shit
you could just pick any lesbian out in the world and youd be guaranteed a date with them

Ah.

Lucina’s pretty sure they know where this is going.

stormblade

and then
like ok maybe this is dysphoria maybe this is just the same kind of insecurity every fat girl in the world gets idk
but you hear how everyone talks about me by comparison
right?

This is his fault, isn’t it.

stormblade

god you’re so kind and perfect and
next to you
im just
this

When the semester had first started, nobody actually had an opinion on Robin. She was just a strange looking girl who stayed in the corner of everywhere, and there was never much of a reason to bother her. They’re sure some people had some less-appreciable opinions on her, but it’s not as if anyone would go out of their way to make her feel terrible.

And then Inigo happened.

Lucina is not one to have kind feelings towards most men, but Inigo is something else in terms of the unkind. A disgusting little creature who can only feel confident in terms of how many women are falling for him at any given moment, he discovered Lucina having feelings for someone other than him, and he immediately went to work on trying to get every other person in school to endlessly spread rumors about the woman they liked being around. Within days, women who would pay her no mind suddenly try to sit next to her, stirring up rumors in the hope that it would get around enough to impress a boy who doesn’t remember their names.

And for what? All because someone his tiny little pea-sized consciousness sees someone he can only be bothered to comprehend as a woman, and he’s enraged they don’t want to fuck him. To destroy and rip apart another human’s dignity is the price he’s willing to pay just to feel like he doesn’t have to “compete”, like that’s a thing that exists outside of misogynist circles of horny heterosexuals.

Robin’s already living with the stares of strangers from the life she lives, and now she doesn’t even get to feel safety within her own school, thanks to him. Horrid, snively little weaselfucker. Lucina could knock him out onto the ground for every hour of the rest of his life, and it wouldn’t be enough, and quite frankly, if they have to hear another story about him fucking some poor girl in the back halls again, they might very well just break his jaw and save the rest of this damn school in the process.

…Actually.

That’s an idea, isn’t it.

Luc

Back halls
Now

stormblade

i
beg your pardon

Luc

I am going to leave
And you can choose to follow
It is up to you

stormblade

h
hold on a second here
like ok i might be a fucking dipshit social cue wise but ive heard enough people talk about it to know that this usually
um

Lucina starts to walk out of the cafeteria.

stormblade

youre actually going to do it
i

stormblade

g
gimme a second