A Woman After My Own Heart

BY : AberrantScript
Category: +G through L > The Loud House
Dragon prints: 986
Disclaimer: I do not own The Loud House and make no money off this work of fiction.

Author's Notes:

This story is dedicated to two of the kindest artists you'll ever meet: CoyoteRom and BunnyAbsentia (deviantart and tumblr). And I have a very great reason for stepping far outside my normal range of writing to bring you this story. These two artists create some of the sweetest and cutest artwork ever. And they enjoy shipping Luaggie, among other pairings. Now, me? I usually write loudcest. I get crazies and hate regularly. A few times, someone even begged me to commit suicide. But when I saw similar hate on their artwork... I was speechless.

So, I'm presenting to you one of my best ideas I've ever had. Everything will be AU, from their ages to relationships to the setting itself. Now, take my hand and step into the world of Luan Summers and Maggie Frost; two unlikely people with troubled lives that meet in an ordinary coffee shop. And watch as their romance blooms~

Reader be advised: This story contains depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide.

Fun facts at bottom! Enjoy~

Disclaimer: The Loud House Copyright Nickelodeon (2017)


A WOMAN AFTER MY OWN HEART

Chapter 1: An Abysmal Morning

It started off like any other day for twenty-year-old Luan Summers.

Her alarm clock blasted her dream to bits.

In a fitful yell, she jerked violently and fell into a heap of blankets onto the floor.

"Summers! What have I told you about the noise!?"

…and she woke up her cranky landlord, just wonderful.

Actually, it wasn't wonderful at all. And as she righted herself and kicked her blankets away, she turned toward a mirror and caught sight of the frown on her face. It'd been so long since she found humor in life that she just didn't care anymore.

She turned and picked up her wad of blankets and stuffed them onto her messed up sheets. On the wall, her eyes glanced over a single sticky note with just a single phone number on it: 1-800-273-8255.

She bit her lip as she looked down on her phone charging on the nightstand… she couldn't see the pocket knife she kept in the drawer, but she knew it was there… and for one fleeting second it called out to her…

And then she heard a rumble in the room right next to hers, and she shook her head and stepped away.

Dressed in just her panties and a shirt, Luan plastered a fake smile on and stilled her body with a calming breath. She had a sister to take care of and she needed to be strong for her.

She opened the door and stepped into the living room with a kitchenette off to the side. She walked over to the other bedroom door and knocked on it.

"Lana? It's time to get up and get ready."

She heard a rustling that sounded a little too much like she was trying to hide something, and Luan sighed.

Her sister couldn't help herself sometimes. Lana's heart was so big and so compassionate to all living creatures. And sometimes when she found one that was shivering and cold and hungry, she'd bring it home for the night.

Luan loved that about the twelve-year-old girl.

Her landlord, Mr. Grouse, however, hated it. He had a strict no pets policy with a three strikes rule. And they'd already been caught twice…

"Already up, sis~" came Lana's chipper reply.

A little too chipper if you asked Luan.

Turning the knob, she opened the door slowly and found nothing out of the ordinary in her little sister's room. There were posters up with a variety of animals. A framed picture of her idol, Steve Irwin and his family, which she kept above her bed. The floor was a little messy, but considering Luan's own apathetic attitude she didn't want to be a hypocrite about it.

Nope, everything looked normal.

Except, Lana was standing a little too rigid, smiling a little too wide to be totally innocent. That and the fact that her overalls were moving in odd directions while her body was frozen solid.

She sighed and tapped her foot. "Lana."

Lana's face immediately fell as she pouted and whispered pleadingly, "B-b-but sis?"

Luan learnt how to handle her sister by the way their mom had handled Luan. And she didn't want to crush the girl's spirit… but there were some things that needed to be swallowed like a bitter pill.

She stepped over and knelt on the ground, putting her hands on the shaking girl's shoulders. Lana felt so vulnerable to Luan, and she could feel the younger girl's need to protect her friend in the tenseness of her arms.

With a warm, motherly voice she spoke, "You know we're not allowed to have pets in our home, Lana."

Lana was quivering, and Luan rubbed circles in the girl's arms.

Her little voice broke as she pleaded, "Luan, I-I c-couldn't leave him. He was all skin and bones!"

Luan was struck with the emotion; Lana begging like it was a friend being led to the chopping block. She was taken by surprise when Lana threw herself around the older girl and hid her teary eyes in Luan's messy hair.

"He was g-gonna… gonna d-die, sis…"

Luan lost her smile as sorrow settled in her heart once again. Her hand mechanically stroked Lana's back as she returned the hug.

It was at times like these that she wished she still had mom around. She wished she could ask her for her advice… she wished she could be a good guardian to her sister just like mom was for them, but it was tough.

Oh, when Lana pushed the boundaries of their relationship in simple ways… trying to steal a piece of gum from the store, pleading to stay up till midnight so she can watch a scary movie before her big test in the morning, or getting caught in the act of putting itching powder in Luan's underwear drawer after she wasn't allowed to stay up and watch horror… all of that she could handle fairly easily.

But when it came to something that she honestly agreed with Lana on… and she had to force herself to be a responsible adult at the expense of Lana's friend… that always stung.

She pulled back after she felt Lana calm down a little, and she wiped away the girl's tears. With a smile, she spoke soothingly to her, "Let's get ready extra quick, and we can take him to a shelter. How does that sound?"

Lana, sniffling and turning her head slightly away to hide her tears, slowly reached into the front of her coveralls and pulled out a little puppy.

The thing was so small and frail; its bones easily visible through its tight skin. It was a beagle, mostly white, with a black back and brown patches on its sides and paws. It sniffed at Luan with its wet, pink nose.

Luan's heart melted at the sight.

But they couldn't keep him…

Lana handed the pup to her sister like she was passing on a priceless painting, and then hurried to pull her messy hair into two pigtails.

Luan watched as she stripped out of her sleeping coveralls and rummaged through her messy floor for a pair of in-public coveralls. (The difference being the presence of holes or not.) The preteen threw them on her bed and ran to her dresser for a fresh pair of undies, socks, and a random shirt.

Luan coughed when she saw her sister had forgotten something.

Lana growled. "I don't wanna wear it, Luan! It makes me feel so… so girly." The word tasted awful to her tomboyish mouth.

Luan smiled genuinely for the first time since waking. "Oh, I know you don't wanna, but you're gonna. And do you remember why?"

Lana sighed as she reluctantly pulled out a training bra from her dresser and pushed the drawer in a little rougher than needed. "Because I'm maturing into a young woman and having support for my chest is good, blah, blah, blah."

Luan's smile never fell as she hefted the puppy against her breasts and poked its nose. "Mhmm, and it's best to get used to it now. Trust me~" The puppy leaned toward her finger, sniffing with its wiggling nose and losing its balance and falling forward. Luan lifted it to her face and rubbed her nose to its own, and the cute thing licked her. "See, Lana? He agrees with me!"

Lana was huffing and pouting as she slipped her shirt over top her stupid bra. When she buckled the straps of her coveralls, she reached over and grabbed her faded red hat and smooshed her hair down with it.

Luan looked at the hat with longing. It was only one of two things left… She quickly turned her mind toward breakfast. She looked down at the puppy in her arms and sighed.

Today was going to be a long day, she could feel it.


The room was dark as the lonely woman sat up in bed and promptly rolled her legs onto the floor. Like clockwork, she stood and flipped her alarm off. She'd woken up five minutes before it was set to go off. That was ten minutes too late.

She sighed, already feeling the heavy weight in her chest of an upcoming reprimand.

Her naked body was pale and nearly shimmered from the waning rays of moonlight peeking through her closed curtains.

Two tired feet stepped over to a dresser. Two stiff hands worked through their slumber and pulled out underwear.

A mind numb to the world; the woman set about clothing herself for her day.

She put on a plain black skirt and tucked in a white blouse. She put a smile-less black tie around her neck as she stood before a mirror. She adjusted it until it was perfect. She fidgeted with her blouse until every crease was evenly spaced. She relaxed her arms and ensured her shirt's puff wasn't too much or too little.

Satisfied, she went to her closet and pulled out one of a dozen identical blazers. She slipped her arms into the dark grey, pen-striped jacket and left it unbuttoned.

Turning away from the mirror, she walked through the dimly-lit room and didn't bother noting anything in it as she stepped over to her shoes, her socks in hand.

No point in mentioning the colorless bed, the empty walls, the lifeless desk and vanity.

Slipping on her black dress shoes, she took a calming breath and removed the frown from her face.

Once upon a time she would have left her bedroom with an emotion. She would have smiled. She would have frowned.

All of that changed on her eighteenth birthday.

She pushed open the doors of her prison deep within her parents' mansion, and faced the waiting servant with a stiff lip; neither smile nor frown; devoid of any emotion.

"Miss," he replied mechanically, "breakfast began two minutes ago." He gestured toward the long hallway before them. "This way." And left without looking back.

She let out a longsuffering sigh.

When she was seventeen she was allowed to enjoy her studies. She was allowed to have friends. She was allowed to be friendly to the butler and the cook.

And then she became an adult.

The butler opened the door to a much-too-big dining room, revealing a man and woman sitting at an oak table. They were, in fact, already eating.

And father was looking at her with displeasure.

"Margaret."

She barely managed to keep her shiver at bay. Her own name said so lifelessly, so cold...

She had to remind herself this was the same man who tucked her into bed as a child, kissed her boo-boos, and taught her how to tie her shoes.

She looked him in the eyes because anything less meant she didn't respect him.

"You're late."

She couldn't relax her shoulders and fought against the incessant heat building behind her eyes. It's just freaking breakfast…

"I'm sorry, father."

Once upon a time she was permitted to freely call him daddy as well.

He turned his eyes back to his plate, lifting a fork and knife and cutting up his food with delicate precision. "Being sorry isn't good enough, Margaret. You have to be perfect if you're going to survive running my company."

"Yes, father."

She walked stiffly to her seat and sat down with as much grace as she could manage. In the corner of her eye she could see the butler standing at attention by the door, like one of the Buckingham Palace guards. As a child she enjoyed standing in front of him and making faces until his mask broke and he tickled her into a giggling fit.

And now she couldn't remember the last time she saw him smile either.

She ate her food and answered her parents' generic questions about her studies and accounting job in her father's business.

She looked down at her plate of eggs and bacon and toast, and noticed how… how beautiful it looked, in an artistic kind of way… how the eggs swirled and swooshed, how the bacon cracked and crumbled, how the toast stood like a desert plateau.

Her fingers issued the faintest twitch. She felt the urge to grab a pencil and paper and draw…

And then she crushed it.

On her eighteenth birthday her parents took away her art supplies and handed her a structured itinerary. And drawing didn't have a place anywhere in her schedule.

In the next weeks her paintings and portraits were removed and replaced with diagrams and theories.

Her potted plants that added color and fresh air were exchanged for stale books from boring professors.

For a little over two years she'd never drawn a single thing.

And never smiled since.

"Are you feeling good today, dear?" her mother asked.

"Yes, mother," she replied robotically.

A complete lie.


They were a rush of limbs as they hurried to the door. Lana stuffed her new beagle friend in her jacket. Thankfully, being autumn, the weather warranted an extra layer. She was waiting by the door impatiently.

"Luan!"

"I'm coming, hold your beagles!"

Lana smiled at that and poked her finger into the unzipped collar.

"Did you hear that, boy? She likes you."

Luan, however, paid it no mind. No though nor giggle. She raced through her bedroom, trying to put her shoes on the same time she crashed into the living room and nearly stumbled over the couch.

"Come on!"

Luan turned to the kitchenette counter and grabbed her keys and purse. "Ok, ok. Got my keys, my phone, my clutch… what else, what else?" She started ticking things off on her hand, sticking her tongue out as she stared upwards in thought.

"Uh, Luan?"

She mumbled to herself the same list and found nothing else important. She stepped over toward the door and looked down at her sister. "Welp, ready to go?"

Lana sighed. "I am ready, but you? Not so much."

Luan furrowed her eyebrows. "What do you mean?"

Lana rolled her eyes before reaching her finger out and poking Luan's stomach.

Her naked stomach.

"Oh, gosh, I-" With a faint blush she buttoned her shirt up. She gave Lana a sheepish grin. "Where would I be without you?"

Lana sniffed. "In the gutter."

Luan smiled, but didn't laugh. Because it was true.

She'd be dead without Lana.

And then as Lana does every morning before leaving for school, she knelt down before a table sitting by the door and looked into a picture; its edges singed and torn.

Luan looked at the picture from over top of Lana's red ball cap. The only two things that remained from the fire that, that… She turned away before tears filled her eyes. She had to be strong for her sister.

Lana touched the thin glass protecting the image of a man and woman hugging two girls from behind. She looked at her younger ten-year-old self and her eighteen-year-old sister. They were smiling and laughing when that picture was taken. All four of them were.

"Mom? Dad?" She pulled her puppy out. "I want you to meet Bugle. He's a beagle and very cute. Plus he baroos loudly like a horn, so… so, I named him Bugle. I… I thought Luan would find it funny, but… I guess she didn't."

Luan held her breath and clenched her fists. If she focused on the feeling of her nails poking through the skin of her palms, then she wouldn't, wouldn't…

Lana sighed. "I miss you. Luan does, too. And you'd love Bugle. I wish I could keep him…" She held her fist out to the picture and waited a few seconds before pulling it back to her heart…

Behind her, Luan had unconsciously done the same, unable to stop tears from forming in her eyes.

"I've still got your kiss, mommy, and I know you're still with me as long as I keep it by my heart."

She stood up, and Luan hurriedly wiped her tears away with the hand that had so recently been pressed against her quivering chest.

Sniffing, Luan pasted another fake smile on her face and looked her sister over.

"Now, remember, Mr. Grouse-"

"-can't know that I snuck another animal in. I know."

Luan bopped her shoulder. "Good girl, now, let's go~"

Though it was frightening, Lana always loved the thrill of sneaking an animal out. They always stuck to the walls and walked extra slow. And they'd pause and listen for footsteps and noises.

Today they were lucky, though, because there was no grouchy old men in sight!

As soon as they got outside, Lana pulled Bugle out and set him in her arms. "Say 'hi' to everyone, boy!"

"Barooo! Barooooo!" he repeatedly called in every direction.

Luan facepalmed before she put her hand on her sister's back to hurry her along.

They left a half hour earlier than normal and they needed every minute of it.

When they arrived at the local animal shelter, Lana was already pouting but Luan encouraged her. They couldn't keep him. They had to think about him and themselves, and this was the best option.

Until they stepped up to the counter and were met with a sympathetic smile.

"I'm sorry but we're out of space. You'll have to take him to the pound."

Lana's face paled. "B-but they'll only keep Bugle for-"

"-for a week, yes. I'm sorry, honey," the receptionist apologized. She looked up to Luan and sighed.

Luan scratched her hand nervously, moving round to her wrist by habit… where she was already chaffed and sore. "S-so, by week, you mean, they'll help him… go to sleep?"

Lana looked at her in confusion before her eyes suddenly widened and became tearful.

The receptionist nodded, sadly. "Yes, that's right."

Luan nodded back and thanked her.

Lana followed slowly behind her sister.

"Luan?"

The older sister sighed as they came up to an intersection. She hit the button for pedestrian crossing. "Yeah?"

Lana sniffed, cradling Bugle closer to her heart. "I-is Bugle gonna die?"

The walking sign lit up and she held her sister's hand as they crossed.

When they reached the other side, she turned toward the school which was only a few blocks away.

And in those few steps that crossed a city street she'd already made up her mind.

"No, he'll be ok, Lana."

The urge to reach for her wrist caused her to squeeze Lana's hand tighter.

In too short a time they arrived at the school and Lana turned to her sister with wide, pleading eyes. She unzipped her jacket and brought her best friend out and sat him in Luan's arms.

"Keep him safe, sis."

Just the way she said it struck Luan hard; like she was entrusting her with her own life.

"I will."

Lana got on her tippy toes and kissed her sister's cheek before running toward the entrance of her school.

Luan turned and started walking, mindlessly running her hand down the dog's back.

Bugle yawned widely before settling down in her arms and napping.

Luan's mind began to wonder as it always did when she was alone.

To a fire, to her nightstand, to a post-it, to work… to the car driving a little dangerously down the road.

She'd once nearly lost herself to the urge and came within seconds of measuring the end of her life with a simple yardstick.

Her foot was on asphalt before she realized what she was attempting, but when she felt Bugle roll in her arms she came to her senses and paused.

A second later a truck drove in front of her, and her eyes dulled.

Sighing with a head hung low, she looked down at Bugle as she got back onto the sidewalk and continued toward work.

Not even ten minutes and you nearly broke your promise to Lana.

She took calming breaths as the entrance to the coffee shop came into view.

She didn't need Lana just so she'd have a sister…

"Mornin' Luan," greeted her co-workers as she stepped into the building.

She needed her sister so she had a reason to stay alive.


The great thing about developing a friendship with your family's butler in childhood is that he'll lie for you.

Margaret Frost was riding in the back seat of a town car, heading toward college for her morning classes.

Maggie, however, was drifting down the sidewalk with her hands in her blazer's pockets.

Alfred, as she fondly called him after her favorite fictional character (and, coincidentally, butler) accidentally got stuck in a huge traffic jam. On purpose, obviously. But she was never in the car.

Not that they would've noticed anyway.

The only thing that mattered was point A and point B, and as long as Alfred and Margaret were standing at point B fifteen minutes early, then all would be fine in the world.

She huffed and furrowed her brows, scuffing her shoes against the concrete walkway.

She enjoyed these moments of freedom. But they never came often and they never lasted long enough.

She had a little less than half an hour before she needed to be in her first class, and she wasn't looking forward to it.

A stray coffee shop came into view and she shrugged her shoulders.

"What the heck?"

She could go for a caramel mocha anyway.

With a face as blank and dull as they ground she walked upon, her back as stiff as a board, she pushed open the door and stepped inside.


"Ok, be a good boy, Bugle."

"Baroo!"

"No, a good boy… as in shush."

"Baroo?"

Luan sighed.

"Just don't chew on anything, please."

He licked her palm happily, his tail wagging, before settling into the little nest she'd made of her jacket. And he promptly began chewing on the ends of the sleeves.

She rolled her eyes before standing up. She was in the employee breakroom. She checked her visor cap and apron. Made sure her shirt was still buttoned. And as she stepped up to the counter, she greeted her partner in crime for the day.

"Hey, Luna!"

"Cheerio, luv~"

Luna was less than a year older than herself and one of her friends from high school. She was the reason Luan found this place and got a job. She was indirectly responsible for providing Luan with the means to support her sister… and to keep her sister.

Taking a deep breath and clearing her mind, she turned to face her day.

And her mouth fell open in shock as the door opened and a black shoe stepped inside. Followed by a skirt and a blazer and finally a perpetually-blank face.

Something inside Luan's heart twinged. A feeling came across her she hadn't felt in two years.

The stranger stepped up to the counter and looked Luan right in the eyes.

"Are you going to ask for my order or do you enjoy making your customers feel awkward?"

Luan gulped.

"M-may I help you?"

"Yes, I want-"

She wrote it down mindlessly and the girl took her seat. As Luan turned to the machine and started on the order, she turned to take another look at that woman and sighed.

Luna, standing off to the side, looked at Luan, then the woman, and then Luan. And a smirk quickly grew on her face.

It took Luan three tries to finish the order; fumbling awkwardly and messing up the first two.

But the whole while a single thought kept running through her head.

She didn't know why she felt this way…

But one way or another, she'd make this woman laugh.

For some unexplainable reason, the thought of success made her smile.

And this time it wasn't fake.


Fun Facts:

The phone number listed on Luan's sticky note? Totally inspired by BunnyAbsentia's Special Bonding. Go check it out on deviantart~

And if anyone gets why the title to this story is funny and significant, then you're awesome~

By the way, you know how everyone in this fandom hates tropes? This story is a moshpit of tropes from another fandom that sucked away two years of my life! Can you guess which one it is?



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