Luna sat on the couch looking very much the wilted flower. That was how Luce found her.
“Well, don’t you look deflated.”
She glanced up at his voice, but gave no other response. Luce moved to her side and made a motion with his hands.
“Scooch” He beside her when she acquiesced. “What’s wrong? You’ve lost your perky,” Luce looked to be thinking something over before he added, “and your sass.”
Luna shrugged noncommittally, but at Luce’s raised brow answered.
“I hate Valentine’s Day.”
Luce got a skeptical look.
“How can you hate Valentine’s Day? Your last name is Valentine, for god’s sake. It’s practically a rule that you have to like it.”
“Well, I don’t.” Luna slumped lower into the couch with a huff.
“Alright, sorry. Seriously though, why do you hate it?”
Luna pointedly directed her eyes away from Luce before responding. “Valentine’s Day always reminds me how I’m just an extra.”
“I’ve never made you feel that way; have I?” There was an edge of panic in his voice. Luna’s eyes shot to him immediately.
“What? No! I just- It’s not you…”
“Then what is it? Who made you feel like an extra? And do I need to kick their ass?”
A half-chuckle escaped from her, dying as quickly as it’d come.
“Growing up in my house, V-day was this huge deal.” Luna shifted so she could look forward. She could already feel her eyes misting and a lump growing in her throat. “I’d get a front row ticket to seeing my parents fawn over my sister, expressing how much they loved her and how grateful and blessed they were to have her.” Her words became mocking with each word. “Aaaand, I’d just be there.” She started fidgeting with her hands. “Look, I know it’s dumb, and it was a long time ago, and it shouldn’t matter anymore-”
“But it does,” Luce cut in. When he had shifted to face her, she didn’t know, but his stare was intense. It felt like he was boring into her soul. It unnerved her.
“Valentine’s Day… It just always makes me remember.”
Luce stared at her a minute longer before taking out his cell phone.
“You’re calling someone now? Really? No interfering advice on how I should get over it? Or how I should find a date to make me feel special for a night?” Luna knew she was edging toward hysterics, but she expected more. She bit her bottom lip to keep herself from continuing.
Luce just stared at her, calm as ever.
“Are you done now?”
Luna nodded jerkily after a moment.
“Good.” He dialed and waited for the other person to pick up. Luna could feel the tears rolling from her eyes and she forced herself to turn away from him. Luce was generally kinder than that. She had sort of come to rely on him “rescuing” her. Maybe this was the exception.
“Hey, Veronica. Mind id we reschedule our date? Yeah, sorry it’s so last minute, but a family emergency popped up. No, everything’s gonna be fine; I just can’t go out tonight. Yeah. Thanks for understanding.”
Luna looked back at him, shell-shocked.
“You just cancelled your date.”
Yes. Yes, I did. Now go grab lots of blankets and pillows. I’ll call Nick, see if he can swap shifts with someone and bring us home some pizzas. Then we’re gonna camp out here on the couch and watch movies like a family.”
And that’s just what they did. The three of them sprawled out on top of one another a strange jumble of limbs on the couch. They watched comedies and a few action movies while pigging out on pizza. And when the next year rolled around, they all turned down dates, knowing there was no place they’d rather be than tangled up with their make-shift family on that couch.
Prompt” Valentine’s Day