The Shadow of his Heart

BY : Catspeaker
Category: +G through L > The Loud House
Dragon prints: 6415
Disclaimer: I do not own The Loud House, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

A/N:Hey everyone, originally I was only writing this story for fanfiction.net but as adult elements creeped in more and more I decided posting it here was appropriate as well. If you haven't seen it, I hope you enjoy! The Soundtrack to this story can be read in my profile!

 

When you love someone, truly love them , love them so deeply in your heart the very air they breathe is precious to you, when you love them so much seeing the slightest frown on their face causes you unimaginable pain, when you love them so much it doesn’t matter that you can’t be with them, only their happiness matters; then when you do see them in pain, real pain, you are left with nothing but the desire to move heaven and earth itself, just to see them smile again.

This was the conundrum that ruled 16 year old Lucy Loud’s heart.

She did love someone like that. Dearly loved them, loved them so much it hurt her. She loved them in the depths of her soul.

She loved him so much it made her lie awake at night sometimes. She would stare up at the ceiling, unable to rest, unable to deal with the amount of emotion and feeling in her heart.

It would be these moments her only recourse would be to take up her book of poems, and get those feelings out, out onto the page. It was the only way she knew to truly unburden herself. It was then, when she was able to pour out everything she so desperately wanted to say to him, every little thing she wanted to whisper directly into his heart, that she could finally calm those sensations down.

It was only then, after she’d created something beautiful that spoke to the way she adored him, that she could get back to sleep.

It was a miracle he never noticed. He never noticed just how many secret poems she'd written about him, and the way she felt about him. It was a miracle that over their lifetimes he'd still not noticed just how important he was to her.

Well, he knew she saw him as important, as one of the most important people in her life. But it was a miracle he hadn't noticed he was THE most important person in her life.

It was a miracle she was so talented at hiding her emotions. Otherwise, if he had noticed...She didn't want to think about that.

Lucy was an expert at concealing her emotions. She excelled in presenting a flat affect to the world, projecting a facade of morose indifference that often-unsettled others around her. It was something she even took a wry amount of pleasure from. Her ability to appear completely unfazed by the most morbid things frightened others, and she really got a kick out of it.

But it was just that, a facade. Lucy was anything but emotionless. Emotions ruled her life and were more true to her than the logic and scientific fact her younger sister Lisa prized so heavily.

Her family and friends knew the truth about her as well. Lucy was deep, she felt things on levels that surpassed those around her. Her loved ones knew her emotions and feelings were strong, stronger than most, but they also knew she much preferred expressing them on the page rather than out in the open. It was as if her own emotions scared her, and only by keeping them close to herself and pouring them out into her art, could she prevent them from ruling her life.

Much like a certain boy already did.

She had always wondered if he ever noticed just how happy his presence made her. Did he know how much he brightened her life, made her feel comfortable, relaxed, and loved just when he was in around?

He had been nothing but an angel in her life. She attributed almost saintliness to him, nothing but the absolute picture of a holy being in her eyes. Of course she knew that was an exaggeration, he had his flaws as any mortal did, but it was how he persevered despite his flaws that made her love him so much.

He had always had time for her when no one else did growing up, always willing to help her with her poems, always willing to share himself with her when no one else would, always making sure she was never forgotten by the others. He could instinctively tell when she was avoiding others because she truly wanted to be alone, and when she was upset and was too afraid to ask for comfort from anyone else.

Where the rest of her family couldn't differentiate between introverted Lucy wanting to be alone to write and read, or Lucy pretending to want to be alone, because she was scared and sad and didn't know how to ask for comfort, he seemed to notice the difference as if he could sense it in the very air.

He looked at her with love in his eyes and a smile on his face every time they were together. It just wasn’t the kind of love she truly wanted from him, it was the same love he showed to everyone else in the house. A boundless well of love that never seemed to run dry for anyone who came to him. Yet despite not being seen by him the way she really wanted to be, she still treasured every lingering hug from him, every sweet kiss to her cheek or the top of her head, and every time he had held her hand.

He had been a constant in her life, he had always been there, and he was the only kindred soul in their shared home. He was the only one who truly understood her.

 

The only problem, the reality that ruined this fantasy, was of course, he was her brother.

Her sweet, kind, dopey and silly big brother.

The seemingly selfless boy who always put others before himself. The boy who lived with ten sisters and gave himself equally to all of them and never complained. The boy who always made amends when he realized he was wrong and felt terrible, actually terrible when he realized he had done something selfish or thoughtless.

The clever boy who was far, far smarter than most in the family realized. Whose actual grades were the best in the house. Whose ability to plan, strategize, and solve problems exceeded that of their certified genius younger sister Lisa, and could out maneuver even their most manipulative and conniving sister Lola.

The boy who was just as gifted artistically as their musical sister Luna, their fashionista sister Leni, and of course, herself.

And the boy who despite all of this, remained humble, outside of some playful bragging. A boy who despite being the very glue that held the family together, really didn't see himself as being super special. Not even being one boy among ten sisters struck him as being particularly noteworthy beyond being a funny little fluke of nature.

No, her dear brother, Lincoln Loud saw himself as nothing more than an ordinary boy. A dorky one at that, he didn't view himself as cool, he did not view himself as deserving of any great praise, and he didn't even realize he was the most loving and affectionate family member among the Louds.

Instead he was too busy stressing and fretting over others, wondering if he was good enough for the things he wanted to do in his life, and was often plagued by self-doubt she was only far to aware of. What was the joke their mom and dad liked to say? “The reason Lincoln's hair is stark white, is because he was fretting so much about being born, the color left before he even popped out.”

It made her upset now and then when she noticed him struggling.

No it made her upset every time she saw it. It made her mostly upset at herself when she saw her brother full of doubts, or worrying if he was good enough.

She cursed her own selfishness and those of her sisters who were often to wrapped up in their own problems growing up to ever notice when Lincoln was upset. They had been selfish, they had taken advantage of his thoughtfulness far more than they should have. Of course he would bury his own self doubts, worries and fears the moment one of them came to him with their own, they were his beloved sisters, and he would drop everything for any one of them.

Sometimes it made her want to scream. It made her want to scream at him. It made her want to grab him and yell, “Don’t you know this family would fall apart without you? Don’t you know how important you are to your sisters? How much we all love you, and how lost we would be without you? Don’t you understand how much Mom and Dad are thankful you came along? Don’t you know how miserable and lonely my life would be without you in it?”

But Lucy Loud didn’t scream at anyone. That wasn't her way.

She also knew you weren’t supposed to have romantic feelings for your brother.

Siiiigh.

It didn’t matter how goth you were, or how misunderstood you believed your feelings were. It didn’t matter how much you enjoyed stories of forbidden romance, or how you had no moral quandaries with it yourself. It didn't matter you viewed love as love, regardless of who it was for.

It didn't matter you would run away with him if he asked you, without any hesitation.

It didn’t matter how much you dreamed of him coming into your bedroom at night, kissing you, and touching you in all the ways you secretly desired.

Lucy knew it was wrong, and she knew it was feelings she'd had to keep to herself all her life. She coped by telling herself she would be happy enough just seeing him happy. She would be happy enough just to be his little shadow and see him take on life and win.

She told herself that, even when she would feel the horrible tinge of jealousy in her heart when he brought a girl home. Even as her eyes teared up and the pain in heart would become unbearable again, knowing he was with another girl, kissing them, holding their hand, and caressing their hair the way she wanted him to do to her. When the pain and heartache and seething, seething envy became so much it made her want to scream, she would take up her book of poems and would pour out some of her best material. She told herself, she would be happy if Lincoln was happy.

But Lincoln wasn’t happy.

Lincoln's worry, doubt and anxiety had been issues he'd struggled with all of his life. It was why he was such an excessive planner, why he felt like he had to control every situation he was in, and why he could not abide chaos, he had to be 'the man with the plan'. He had to exert order on his life. When things didn't go his way, or he lost, he chalked it up to some personal failure on his part. He seemed as if he never internalized the old adage, you can do everything right and still lose.

What had started off as a cute but mildly eccentric character trait early in his life, had grown to be an actual issue as he entered his teens. His own family had failed to notice though.

It had been his best friend Clyde and his parents who noticed it. Clyde was a bundle of nerves himself, but the actual experience his family had with mental health meant they noticed the signs when Lincoln began to seriously slip in his mid teens. When he'd stopped sleeping, and his appetite had diminished and his grades had started to slip. When he'd actually become short with the people he loved, and would snap at them, only to profusely apologize afterwards. When as each of their older sisters had moved out, and he'd internalized more and more the need to be responsible one.

When the Mcbrydes had noticed Lincoln was catastrophizing every set back, they had intervened.

It never reached a fever pitch, there was no great nervous breakdown on Lincoln's part, no sudden attempts at self harm. But after the Mcbryde's had talked to Liconln's parents about it, Rita and Lynn Sr had immediately sent Lincoln to therapy and had him put on anti-anxiety medication.

It had thankfully helped, and Lincoln made a dramatic recovery quickly, and now years later, he only did a check in with his therapist every six months. However, Lucy had noticed, the fact he now took psych meds and their parents required him to see a therapist his sense of self worth had somewhat eroded.

It was as if he'd internalized that he was somehow slightly broken, and it slowly gnawed at him.

She’d seen it settling in, creeping up slowly over the years. Lincoln’s self-esteem being chipped away at, little by little. Years of putting others first had resulted in the delaying of his own wants and desires. His worry of making sure everything went right had made him less willing to take risks. It had led to him as the runner-up in life rather than the winner he deserved to be.

It had led to most of his relationships failing. His girlfriends would either inevitably get jealous of the time he gave to his family, or they would seem to find some fault within him, or he would end up sabotaging the relationship because of his own self-doubt.

She knew herself and her sisters were partially to blame for this, but she also knew Lincoln had to take some of the blame himself. He seemed to date women who would ultimately walk all over him and take him for granted and he never thought he could do any better. She’d seen him pass up on other girls she knew he was capable of getting, because he himself didn’t believe he could.

She'd known that was why he'd lost Ronnie Anne.

The personal events in his life at this moment weren't helping either.

He’d delayed going to a real University with his best friend Clyde, at the behest of Mom and Dad. They really needed him around the house, just a year or two longer to help out, and to save money. So instead he went to the local community college, rather than sharing a dorm with the closest thing he'd had to a brother of his own.

Most of his other friends were gone now too. His circle of friends off to different colleges, different towns for jobs, or starting their lives in new places. The few people from school still around weren't people Lincoln had been particularly close to.

So at an age where he should have been going to parties, and finding himself. Going on crazy road trips with his best friend, and making memories he would tell stories of later, he was instead still at home with his little sisters, working part time at his Dad's restaurant.

Lucy just thought it was a relief Clyde was at least still in the State. He was only an hour and a half away, but that meant most of the week the two couldn't see one another.

Her precious brother went to the community college, worked for his family, spent time with his sisters, ran them around town in his own car for all of their activities, and spent his precious free time drawing, playing video games, or waiting hand and foot on a woman who wasn't worthy to kiss his feet.

That woman, the source of her brother's current unhappiness. The reason why Lucy's self made rule, “As long as he's happy” was facing it's greatest challenge yet. The woman who'd broken his heart, Melanie.

The breakup had happened today and well it had been bad, real bad. She'd seen her brother go through more than a few break ups over the years. He would always appear sullen, disappointed and sad, but he would always recover, at least on the outside. Even the one that had made him the saddest, the one with Ronnie Anne hadn't been like this. When he knew it was over with Ronnie, he had cried, but it was a strange kind of wistful sadness.

This time though, this time.

Well, she’d rarely actually seen her brother sob. The only time she could really recall he'd broken down, was at Pop-pop's funeral last year. Lincoln had been closer to his grandfather than the rest of them, and the death had destroyed him for weeks.

But other than that, actually full on sob? No.

She had seen him get misty-eyed plenty of times, her brother was sensitive. She knew he felt things just as deeply as she did. It was one of the many traits she loved about him, his emotions ran deep. She knew it was a trait he inherited from their father, and she knew she loved it so much, because her mother loved it so much in her father. But much like their father, Lincoln still followed traditional societal male norms that said men were supposed to hold back their emotions, and not actually cry. Getting a little misty-eyed was okay, but men didn't sob!

But Lincoln had cried. Cried in pain almost as bad as he had when Pop-pop died.

He didn’t breakdown in front of her or anyone else in the family when it had happened. But well....

Well it had been a regular evening just like any other. Lucy, and two of her sisters, 14 year old Lana and 9 year old Lily had both been home in the living room with her. Lucy was studying for a test, laying on the floor, while Lana had been propped up on the couch watching tv flicking through their streaming service seeming unable to decide on what to watch. Lily had been laying on the floor with her legs propped up on the couch, a gamestation in her hands, tongue stuck out in concentration as she played.

Underneath her oil stained flannel shirt, ball cap, and torn blue jeans Lana was a beautiful blonde haired, blue eyed girl, one capable of winning pageants and beauty contests if she ever cared to. She knew, because her twin sister Lola had done just that several times over.

Lily was an adorable ray of sunshine, her own blonde hair set back with a purple hairband that matched the violet blouse she wore, and blue jeans covering her legs that she idly kicked while plaing.

All three had been home when they saw Lincoln come in with a look of complete devastation.

Normally the girls would give a greeting to their brother when he got home. Even if it was a bored wave and 'Hello', or in Lily's case, the full need to run up to him and throw her arms around his waist with pure joy.

But Lily had stopped dead where she was when she saw him. Lana and Lucy too.

He looked, well he looked as if he was hollow inside, as if he didn’t really know what he was doing. Like something had knocked his soul right out of him, and it still hadn't settled back into his body.

Lucy had been the first to break the strange silence as he kicked off his shoes quietly and shut the door behind him.

“Lincoln. What happened?”

Only for her brother to look at her as if he didn't even realize she was there, or he didn't process the question correctly. He simply replied, “Oh. Nothing.” Then glumly marched up stairs to his room, like a prisoner on deathrow.

There was no way the three of them were going to let him get off that easily though. After they'd heard his door close, they quietly followed behind, walking down the hall, to the former linen closet that he still used as a room from the time he'd been born until now.

Outside of his door, they waited.

At first they could hear nothing butt the gentle sound of their brother's breath and him settling on top of his bed. It stayed like that for several moments.

Then just as suddenly, it changed.

An anguished wail came from him, one that was only stopped by what was clearly their brother forcing his face down into his pillow to stifle it.

Only to be followed by sobbing so intense the sound of such pain and knowing who it was coming from made Lucy's heart shudder, and before she knew it, she'd felt tears welling up in her eyes.

The pain radiating from their brother through his door was palpable, and Lucy noticed Lana was wiping at her eyes and Lily looked frightened. Frightened at the prospect of something hurting her brother so deeply.

Lana spoke up then, in a whisper, wiping the tears from her cheeks with her palm, “Lucy, this, this is bad. He's... Lucy listen to him. What happened? What can we do? How do we fix this?”

Lily's lower lip was quivering and she'd reached up to take Lucy by the waist of her black dress, and tug on it, looking up at her older sister as her own tears were falling unbidden, “Lucy, why is Linky crying? What happened? Lucy, we have to go help him, we have to go see what's wrong, he's hurt, Lucy why is he hurt so much, we need to go in there.” Lily was practically pleading.

Of course Lily was taking it the worst. She thought the world of her big brother, enough to where Lucy was certain she might of harbored a crush of her own on the boy. She was always playing videogames with him, or drawing with him, or spending every free moment she could with him.

While at the time Lucy didn’t know the exact reason Lincoln was so upset, she had a very strong suspicion, and already it was making her blood run cold.

But most important at the time, was the matter of her sisters.

As the tallest and oldest sister in the house, Lucy was the defacto person in charge after Lincoln. She placed her hands gently on Lana's shoulder, and Lily's head, looking down at them both through the thick dark bangs that hid her eyes.

“We'll find out soon enough. Lincoln will tell us. But right now, we need to give him space. He doesn't want us to see him like this.”

Lana seemed to understand this, but poor little Lily had a harder time.

“But why Lucy? We love him, why can't we go in and help him?”

The little girl was looking frustrated and more upset by the moment. Lucy knew that feeling all to well, as much as she understood right now, if her suspicions were right, the last thing Lincoln wanted was his sisters doting on him. Even as she wanted nothing more than to crawl into his bed herself, wrap her arms around him and kiss away his pain, she knew he had his pride as a man.

“Come on you two, we have to let the others know.” Lucy had said simply and gestured them away.

Word traveled through the rest of the family soon enough after that. Mom was off on a weekend trip promoting her new Book and had only settled into her hotel , Dad was at the restaurant planning on working the Friday night crowd. But when Lucy had called both to tell them that Lincoln had been crying, actually sobbing in his room, Mom offered to fly back immediately. Dad had said he could be home in 10 minutes and make Lincoln one of his favorite desserts.

Lucy had waved them off, told them she knew Lincoln didn’t want that right now, and his sisters would be able to handle it when he was ready. Mom had sighed and reluctantly agreed, Dad knowing he would be back later that night anyway, just told Lucy to keep them informed.

Lana had been the one to contact her twin. The usually prissy and self-centered and yet charming girl had been out at a party with the rest of the student council. When Lana told her how bad it was, Lola dropped everything and made sure she was home in less than 15 minutes.

As for Lisa the 12 year old had been home too, but was cooped up in her room working on something. It wasn't unusual for Lisa to get so wrapped up in her work she lost track of time, and so her sisters didn't hold any blame for her that she hadn't been aware Lincoln even had come home. Because the moment Lily knocked on her door, and the brown haired glasses clad girl answered, Tupac lyrics blaring from her room, all Lily had to say was, “Linky is crying” and she turned off everything and made her way down to join the others.

The girls had all waited together on the spacious comfortable cream-colored couch that had replaced the old dark grey one a couple of years ago.

Lucy on one end leaning against it, propping her elbow on the arm rest, her head in her hand. Lily clinging tightly to her while Lucy gently rubbed the child’s back trying to bring her comfort. Lola and Lana, their heads down, holding each other’s hand. The twins were so different from one another and yet still shared that special bond twins had, comforting each other as they waited patiently. And Lisa, who fiddled with some gadget in her hands, having to keep herself busy, the only way she could handle the dead silence and waiting.

The girls had all waited like that in almost perfect quiet, the only sound being the occasional whimper from Lily. They all had their suspicions of what had upset their brother so much, but Lucy was positively certain about it.

It took around 40 minutes from the time Lincoln had arrived home, until the time they heard his bedroom door open again. Footfalls on the stairs announced his arrival.

At 19 years of age Lincoln was a tall and somewhat lanky boy at first glance. Tet he was more trim in actuality and fit. He had the good fortune in that he could eat what ever he wanted, and not gain any weight. Being in the prime of his youth, he had a body that was easy for him to maintain his current tone and definition with minimal effort. He still had the chipped front tooth he'd gotten when he was 9, never having bothered with any sort of dental cap, seeming to enjoy the distinctness it gave his smile.

But the feature he was known for most, or at least the part Lucy liked most, was his stark white hair. He’d let it grow just a little longer since his childhood, just enough for it to brush forward from the back of his ears ever so slightly.

He'd begun descending the stairs with his hands buried in the pockets of his blue jeans and his red ace-savy t-shirt bunched up around his arms. His usually handsome blue eyes were bloodshot and puffy from his crying, and he still carried that lost, forlorn look. When he reached the bottom floor he gave a long, drawn-out breath that he'd been holding.

He looked at his sisters and had seen the concern on their faces and forced a smile for them.

Even when it was clear his heart was broken and his world had come, at least temporarily undone, he was still trying to reassure them.

It made Lucy want to cry even more.

He’d simply walked over to the couch, his sisters clearing room for him, and sat down between Lana and Lola.

With his hands now folded in front of him, his shoulders slouched and gaze toward the floor he’d just said it, “Mel, I mean Melanie and I… we’re not together anymore. I caught her…with someone else.”

The statement hung in the air. His sisters were quiet, and he didn't offer much of anything else. They waited, and fresh tears began to pour down his cheeks. He let out a single sniffle and then...

Then his sisters were enveloping him in love and warmth.

They had all circled him, moving in as close as they could, putting their arms around him, to hug him, as a family.

Lily had crawled into his lap and wrapped her arms around his neck. Lola and Lana had both taken an arm respectively and leaned their heads into his shoulders. Lisa had gotten behind him and simply laid her head against his back and bringing her hands to to rest on the top of his shoulders.

There wasn’t much room for Lucy then, but she snaked her hands past Lola and took hold of Lincoln’s own. Her slender pale fingers wrapped around his palms and she squeezed, refusing to let go.

They stayed like that for several moments, holding their brother as he forced himself not to cry, and did anyway. They nuzzled him, hugged his limbs, and squeezed him so tightly as if doing so, they could transfer their love directly to him and heal his broken heart.

Lincoln took in their affection readily, until he slowly kissed each one of them on the head and then leaned his own against theirs in turn.

He looked up afterwards, seeming to have managed to get a better hold of himself before speaking, “Thank you. All of you. I have the best sisters in the world, but I want to be alone again. I love you all.”

He's slowly sat up, as their grips on him reluctantly slipped away. All of them except for Lily, who clung to his neck, “Linky no. No, you can't go away right now, you can't be alone! I won't let you! You need us!” his little sister pleaded, tears in her own eyes.

Lincoln gave a soft sigh, his voice pained, “Lily...it's..”

“No!” her voice interjected, “We'll play videogames, or draw, or watch Ace Savy together, or something that will make you feel better!” She continued to beg.

Lucy fixed Lincoln with a look, one that said she wanted at least Lily to go with him. Lincoln looked to her, and then the rest of his sisters. They all were fixing him with the same gaze. They wouldn't take no for an answer. Lincoln decided not to fight it.

He just nodded against Lily's cheek and placed her down, “Alright Lily, you win. You can come with me.” He forced a pained smile for her. The 9 year old took her brother's hand and the two marched up to his room together.

Lucy smiled, cuddle time with Lily could really be the best medicine. She knew the girl would cling to him for hours without complaint, and remind him just how much his family did love him. It also served the duel purpose of getting Lily out of the room for what came next.

It would be an understatement to say the sisters were angry at Lincoln's now ex-girlfriend. Furious was more like it.

Lola had been the first to speak and assert herself, the student council vice president was absolutely livid, “That Bitch! How dare she! How dare she! Lincoln was to good for her, the best man that cunt could ever hope for! I will ruin her! I will make her life a living hell, she doesn’t know who she’s fucking with. She doesn’t know who she pissed off, what fresh hell I can have descend upon her!”

Lana didn’t possess nearly the social connections or Machiavellian mindset of her twin, but nobody was better when it came to pipe wrenches and carburetors, and of course her thoughts went to how she could physically hurt this woman, “Just let me find her car, I’ll put that thing up on blocks and strip it clean before she knows it! Or her home, I'll cut off her heat, water, power, and internet!”

Lisa, their normally calm and collected logical younger sister was actually fuming, “Normally I’d advishe againsht resorting to sutch low-brow tactics and concepshts like revenge. But..” Lisa trailed off, and the sister who was the least likely to show any sort of hurt actually choked back a sob in her throat as the next words came from her so pained.. “She hurt my Big brother! She hurt our Lincoln!” Lisa removed her glasses and actually wiped away fresh tears, before she placed them back on her head and spoke again with a palpable snarl.

“As we like to shay in the Hip-Hop world, Shomeone needs to bust a cap in that trick...”

Those words had slightly shocked the rest of her sisters who quickly fixed Lisa with a questioning look. Lisa only shrugged and added, “Metaphorically shpeaking of courshe.”

It was up to Lucy as the eldest sister to provide some direction, the goth girl raising her hands up and speaking a little louder than she normally did, “Guys, Guys, Guys! Lincoln doesn’t want that, and we all know it. We can’t do any of that. No revenge.”

The rest of her sisters looked around at each other, mumbled their agreements and then solemnly sank their heads. Of course Lincoln would be against any kind of revenge.

“At least not right now. We’ll get her back, but later, when we know Lincoln won’t be aware of it.” Lucy then stated with a cold and icy tone in her voice.

The rest of her sisters then looked up again at each other, then back to Lucy as malicious grins crossed their lips.

Lucy continued, “It’s not about doing it to make Lincoln feel better, he wouldn’t. It is about paying her back for hurting him. But that comes later, right now he needs us to be there for him.”

The sisters had all nodded in agreement and had broken down into discussions over what they could do for Lincoln in the time being. They knew that it really just came down to them being there for him, giving him emotional support when he needed it, and space when he wanted it. Lincoln was stubborn at times, he wouldn't admit when he needed company, or needed to not be alone. They knew it would be at least a week if not more before he would be able to function again normally, and they all resolved to do their part to take care of him.

That night, Lincoln had fallen asleep with Lily in his arms, and Lily refused to leave her big brother’s side. Lola, Lana and Lisa discussed possibly revenge schemes, and Lucy took care of business filling in both Mom and Dad about what'd happened, while then firing off a group text to their older sisters who weren't living in the house anymore. She'd had to make sure to add, 'Don't call right now, give it a day, the rest of us have it in hand.'

Lucy had then retired to her own room, and had sat down at her vanity, her beloved bust of the vampiric paramour Edwin sitting next to her. She gazed at herself in the round mirror atop the vanity and reflected.

The family had not really liked Melanie all that much, but Lincoln had been crazy about her. She was arrogant, petty and narcissistic. She had a 4.0 grade average at the college, and her family had money, and she was beautiful and knew it. She was a stuck-up Princess without any of the charm or grace of someone like Lola, or the maternal warmth of their eldest sister Lori. But she had Lincoln wrapped around her finger. He waited on her hand and foot, and she bullied him expecting him to take care of her and handle everything in her life.

It wasn’t even the playful flirtatious bullying her brother’s first love Ronnie Anne had done. None of the cute names or little hint, hint, wink wink nudges that spoke about just how infatuated Ronnie had been with Lincoln.

Lucy gave a sigh at that, if only Ronnie hadn’t moved away, and if only Lincoln hadn't doubted himself so much. Lincoln would probably already be engaged to her. She'd be up here with him right now. They would have been as annoyingly saccharinely sweet as Lori and her husband Bobby were. Hell, Bobby was Ronnie's older brother. They were family of course Lincoln and Ronnie would have just turned into a reflection of those two! Ronnie had been the only girl that Lucy had ever approved of.

It would have solved the problem of her brother’s happiness, and he wouldn’t have fallen for a manipulative bitch whose hen-pecking he mistook for love thanks to his own self-esteem issues. One who couldn’t be arsed to even properly break up with the boy, but had cheated on him, probably for who knew how long, and tossed him away like garbage.

It infuriated her. But revenge would have to wait for later.

After all the events of the day, dealing with her beloved brother’s heartache and keeping her other sisters in line, Lucy had to deal with herself now, and the feelings coursing through her. It was times like these she missed her older sister and former roommate Lynn.

Lucy caught sight of her own reflection again, taking note of it, as if she was making sure she still had the features she were certain were worthy of her brother.

What ever genes that had made Lincoln so tall and trim, had done the same for her, or rather lithe was the more appropriate word. She was now the tallest of all her sisters, coming an inch or two even over her eldest sister Lori. She was still shorter than Lincoln of course, he was the tallest in the house at 6’1, but at 5’11 she was even the same height as her father.

Her body was feminine and shapely, even with being so lithe, her breasts a round and perky C-cup that sat upon her chest in an almost ethereal manner. While she wished her hips had been a little wider and her butt a little bigger, it still had a pleasing heart shape and soft plush to it. Her currently raven hair (She occasionally experimented with letting her natural blonde come back now and then) ran down over her shoulders and to the middle of her back. The one continuous part of her that had never changed was the way her lustrous bangs hid her deep blue eyes.

Even at 16, Lucy was an otherworldly looking beautiful girl. Her sister Leni had once asked her to come model clothes for her, saying she had the perfect figure for it, but Lucy had turned her down. The only fashion Lucy had interest in, ran in the Gothic variety.

The way Lucy dressed varied wildly with her mood, but always stayed within that milieu.

She had overly intricate dresses and parasols when she was feeling Lolita Goth, short skirts, fishnets, goggles and halter tops when she wanted to Rave, a gray plaid and black school uniform when she was feeling ironic, and everything in-between. Most of the time though, she preferred the classy and elegant look of simple black dresses and stockings as if she was channeling Morticia or Wednesday Addams, after all you could never go wrong with the classics.

All of this was to say, Lucy was very popular, if intimidating to the boys (and some of the girls) at school and beyond. She’d even dated a few of those boys over the years and while some of them had been very nice, and some of them she even liked, they just couldn’t hold a candle to who her heart truly belonged to.

Those boys had felt like distractions, or even worse…Practice.

Practice for making herself a better lover to the person she could never actually be the lover for. Practice in learning what boys liked, how to smile to elicit the reaction she wanted, how to pout in the perfect cute manner to get her way. How to whisper in their ear to make them go crazy, and how to use her tongue to bring them to heaven.

Not that she ever went all the way with any of them, but at this point Lucy was confident in her kissing skills and knew for a fact she gave the best head out of every other girl she knew. And what had it all been for?

Practice. Practice for the boy she could never have. To make sure she could satisfy his needs both emotionally and physically.

Siiiiiiigh.

She was dumb. Breaking up with perfectly good boys because she didn’t feel the same ‘spark’ she did with the forbidden fruit that lived under the same roof as her. Because none of them made her heart ache and yearn like his did. Because she didn’t fantasize about any of them being her first like she did with her brother. She was completely hopeless. She just wanted him to be happy, she just wanted him to have a girl who would treat him right, who would be devoted to him, and passionate, and share his secrets and kiss away his worries, and in the dark let him know she would never let him go.

She wanted to be that girl so bad. She wanted to be his companion, she wanted to be the woman on his arm, the one with her fingers laced with his and the gentle smile on her lips that told everyone she knew him in ways no one else ever would. She wanted to be his desire, his naked wanton slave who satisfied his every urge and made him lust after her in his every waking moment.

Lucy let her head thunk down on her vanity as she stopped staring into its mirror. It was hopeless. She was hopeless. No other girl would ever meet her standards as Lincoln’s lover because no other girl was her. No other girl loved her brother the way she did.

She looked up at herself again, placing her hand on the mirror, frowning.

Life was unfair.

She had always known that, but it was striking her as particularly cruel in the moment.

Argh! Why couldn’t it be her? Why couldn’t she be his girlfriend? Why did they have to be born as siblings? She knew her brother found her attractive! She knew he thought she was sexy! She had seen it for herself! Oh, he was embarrassed horribly by it, but Lucy remembered. She had never forgotten the day when he walked in on her in the middle of changing.

It had been just over a year ago. She had been pulling up one of her black and white striped bras and fitting it over her chest. A pair of matching panties clinging to her hips, and just caught between the cheeks of her ass. She had been in the middle of fastening the bra, her arms stretched behind her, breasts jiggling as she worked with the material to get it into place when Lincoln had walked in to ask her a question and had stood there dumbfounded.

He hadn’t made a move to run away, he hadn’t even looked away. He just stood there. His words had died on his lips, and he had stared at her, mouth agape.

Lucy remembered she had grinned at him. Then turned around and asked if he could help her clasp her bra. She'd heard him swallow, and heard his words come out almost hoarsely “S-s-sure, sure thing Luce!” Before she felt his shaking hands fumble around and hook it together.

She had turned back around, fixed him with a mysterious smile while also making sure to push her arms together just enough to really make her tits pop in the bra. Then she had leaned up to him and kissed his cheek in thanks. “Thank you Lincoln”, she'd made sure to say in the most soft and husky voice she could manage.

After that he apologized and made his excuses to leave, but Lucy had looked then.

She looked where you weren't supposed to look at your brother. But then you weren't supposed to flirt with your brother in your panties and bra too, so she had looked, she had brought her eyes to his crotch (not that he would be able to tell with her eyes so hidden by her lustrous bangs) to see how effective her efforts had been. She'd seen they'd been very effective. Lincoln had a quite noticable bulge. Her brother had been sporting a full on erection. It had made a full tent in his jeans, but he was quickly out the door afterward.

Lucy didn't even need to ask Lisa for an explanation, she already knew what her scientist sister would say. Lisa would have explained it away as an autonomic response from their male siblings biology while he was still in the throes of the most virile and fertile years of his life. Nothing to put much thought into. But Lucy would disagree with that. It did matter. Lucy had gotten him hard. Lucy had made him blush, and had made the words in his mouth fail.

She knew he was attracted to her, at least on some level. Yes, it was buried under layers of familial love and sibling desensitization, but she knew when push came to shove, she could turn him on. So why couldn’t she be his girlfriend?

No, really, why couldn’t she?

That was a dangerous thought in her head now. She was staring at a precipice in front of her as she turned that thought around in her head. She'd always told herself no, she'd always said she knew it wasn't possible. But why? She was coming right up to the edge of that cliff and entertaining thoughts she'd never fully allowed herself to entertain before.

And before she knew it, she was stepping off that cliff, into the precipice of the unknown and the forbidden. It shocked her when she had realized she'd already made her decision in her heart, before her brain had caught up and made the decision too.

If no other girl was going to meet her exacting standards and give Lincoln the relationship he deserved, then it fell to her to do it, didn’t it? Yes, they’d have to hide it, there would be difficulties, but wouldn’t that make their love all the sweeter? Love tested by adversity was the strongest and deepest love after all.

Yes, she was going to be his girlfriend. This had been the last straw, and now it was time for her to take her rightful place at his side.

She just, had to convince him it was the best choice. She had to show him, it was what he wanted too, even if he wasn’t aware of it yet. It would take planning on her part. It would take demonstrating to Lincoln it was the natural fit for both of them. She knew her sweet dorky brother would be against the idea if she just came out and said it. So she’d have to take a page from Lola’s book, and manipulate him somewhat, for his own good of course. Until he came to see just how happy they made each other.

No feckless harpy was ever going to hurt her brother’s precious heart again. Lucy had resolved to become the one to possess it, to drag it into her shadowy warmth, where it would forever be safe and protected by her.

She was going to need some help to really make this happen though. Someone on her side, who would, hopefully understand.

There had been one person she’d dare share some of the extent of her feelings for Lincoln with. The one person least likely to judge her.

It helped the same person was dating Lincoln’s best friend. That actually helped a whole lot Lucy realized.

Lucy took out her phone and texted her friend Haiku. She needed to tell Haiku what happened anyway, before the girl heard it secondhand through Clyde when Lincoln told Clyde. She just hoped Haiku really would be as understanding as she seemed to be, when Lucy had talked around the subject to her before.

A moment later, Haiku texted her back, and then Lucy gave her a call.



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