originally posted on ao3.

Quietly, they run through the deserted hallways of the school, the only noises they make are the sounds of their panting and their feet tapping the floor. Once the stop, the blonde boy with the indigo eyes lets go of the girl’s hand. Her hair swishes silently behind her, and the echoes of their footsteps slowly fade away. Neither of them move to fill the comfortable silence for words are not their strong suit. They know each other well enough to understand the things that go unspoken within the slight movements of their hands, eyes, even the smallest quirk of the lips to form the very beginnings of a smile.

The girls never says it out loud, but she wants to see the fireworks that will soon grace the sky as the final day of their school festival comes to a close. The boy does not- has not- will never need her worlds to know of her wishes, many of which he is always happy to grant. The fireworks is the gift that he intends to give her today, and he wonders if she already knows.

It is then, in the silence of a building empty of all except two people, that she realizes he has more for her to go. After they catch their breaths in the short moment, he grabs her hand and pulls her into another comfortable jog through another set of hallways. Her eyebrow raises to ask a soundless question, to which he answers with a glint that only his eye expresses. She understands. He wants to surprise her. She is fine with that.

They open a door that is rarely used and climb the stairs concealed behind it. There is another door at the end of the stairs, and like a gentleman, he stops to open the door for his lady. Their destination is nothing special; he merely brought her to the roof of the school after what seemed like at least ten minutes of pointless running, but she realizes that the sun is starting to set. The breezes that spin the school’s turbines blows through her hair, and the boy thinks he has never seen such a beautiful sight. For all of her observation skills, she fails to notice the boy’s face as he marvels at her tough beauty, and instead, is captivated by the colors of the sky as the sun sets. He turns to face the sunset, and he too watches.

When the light of the setting sun finally dims, and the first stars twinkle in the navy blue sky, he pulls his eyes off from the sky to check the time. He breaks the silence by whispering her name. “Lien,” he says, “it’s almost time.”

She, Lien, turns to him and visibly quirks her eyebrow up. Then, she takes out her phone to check the time herself. She nods, and they fall back into the same soundless conversation again.

Lien wonders why he brought her to the roof, but decides against asking him. She trusts him to tell her when the time is right, as he always does.

When the first blossom of light blooms in the starlit sky, Lien realizes immediately why he brought her here. The view is breathtakingly beautiful, even if it is just from her school, the display unobstructed by the lights that illuminate the school grounds. On the roof, above those lights, she can enjoy the purity and the full glory of the fireworks. Of course, she could have figured this out and climbed onto the school roof by herself, but she turns to thank the boy beside her with spoken words. “Thank you, Lukas,” she murmurs.

“It’s not over yet.”

For the first time tonight, she stares at him, not the sky, wide-eyed with surprise as she processes his words. “Has it begun?”

“Of course. The fireworks are the opening?”

“So when does it en-?”

Lien jolts and is cut off as soon as Lukas makes contact with her. His hand gently raises hers up to his lips, and with a small smile, he brushes her knuckles to his lips. He releases her hand and answers. “Now, let's not be so hasty. Wait until the fireworks are over for the rest.”

It takes a few moments for Lien to regain her composure after experiencing direct contact with another person, even if it was Lukas. Lukas uses this fact to his advantage to stun her into silence, something that Lien can’t bring herself to hate. Once she recovers, Lien asks a question that both of them know the answer to, but she asks anyway. “Will I like it?”

Lukas’ lips curve into a half smile that is reserved for Lien only. “Of course,” is the same response every time. Lien has never been disappointed.

Lukas is only slightly surprised when Lien’s hand finds his again and grips it firmly. He looks over to see her face, but she is focused, or pretending to focus, on the fireworks. In the darkness of a starlit night, he can only barely make out the blush coloring her cheeks. Despite himself, Lukas’ own face spreads into a soft smile, something only Lien has ever been able to incite. She squeezes his hand, telling him that she saw that smile, and she replies with her own muted grin.

They stay, trading smiles with intertwined fingers, until the colors in the sky finally fade to the black of the night sky and the white of stars and streetlights. It is then that Lien asks, “Do we need to go downstairs?”

“No,” Lukas replies, “it has to be here, on the roof.”


“There aren’t any cameras on the roof.” He wanted this surprised to remain between him and Lien; no security guards or administrators to see this.

Lien doesn’t ask any more questions. Lukas release her hand and tells her to stay put. Sometimes, the absence of contact stuns Lien just as much as sudden direct contact, especially with Lukas; just like now, how she visibly jolts when his hand leaves hers.

As he walks, it almost seems like he is going to leave the roof, but Lien knows that LUkas will not. Instead, as he walks, he waves his hands over the ground, and slowly, glowing lines of all sorts of sparkling colors materialize under his feet. The lines extend to the very corners of the roof, and Lien sees why Lukas chose to stay on the roof.

This was magic that Lukas was using. If he was caught, he could be expelled from the school.

“It’s all illusion magic,” Lukas explains. “Only you and I can see it.” He pauses, letting Lien to continue watching the magic in awe. She knows that Lukas dabbles in magic, but she has never guessed that Lukas could do something like this. When the magic settles, she sees a still picture, and immediately covers her face in embarrassment. Lukas allows himself a smirk, one of the few facial expressions that he actually has mastered.

“I don’t know if you knew, but it’s been about one year since we started dating, and a little more than a year and a half since you confessed to me.”

He gestures to the giant image on the floor, a perfect image of the day that Lien hurriedly and shyly handed a letter to a then-single Lukas, just before she ran away too quickly for him to get her name.

“You were dared by your friend to confess to me,” he continues as the image changes to one of him alone, reading the letter. “It was the first time I noticed you; well, the first time I really noticed a girl in general. Your letter- I never knew that other people could see me like that. Back then, I only really hung out with my small friend group, and I never thought to branch out. Me, an antisocial teenager? Never, but you changed that.”

He stops and runs a hand through his hair, a sure sign of his nervousness, before continuing. Lien says nothing because she wants to hear everything he has to say.

“You piqued my interest,” Lukas confesses. “I wanted to get to know you better, but you always ran, or I was- well, kind of afraid. I memorized every word you wrote in your letter, probably out of desperation, now that I think about it, trying to figure out who you were and what you were like without actually talking to you.” Somehow, he never runs out of words to say whenever he was with Lien, and now is one of those times when Lukas lets his guard down and lets his feelings pour out through his words.

“Then came Valentine’s Day. I never got chocolates and never thought I would ever receive any, but you came. You came and just shoved the box into my hands, but that time, you stayed and asked me to try one. You know what, I never did figure out if you did that on another dare or on your own free will.”

The image on the ground shifts to the picture of Lukas eating one of Lien’s homemade chocolates. In the picture, there was just the two of them, alone in an empty classroom, Lukas in the process of biting off just the corner of one piece, the other chocolates still in the box left beside him. The Lien in the photo- no, illusion watched him, and only someone who knew Lien as well as Lukas did would see the anticipation, the excitement, and the hint of anxiety hidden in those amber eyes. He didn’t see it back then, but now, as Lukas looks back on the image, he sees it. Lien tries to suppress the growing heat on her cheeks and she is reminded of that moment, something she remembers all too clearly.

“Those chocolates you made were both sweet and bitter, and I remember, very clearly, that I told you that the chocolates reminded me of you.”

The picture moves, and now the past Lien is shown blushing, attempting to hide that blush, and she avoids eye contact with the Lukas of the past. It is the moment just before that Lukas realizes the weight of the words he has just said, and he stares at the girl, wondering what’s wrong.

“You told me that if I wanted to give you chocolates, I’d have to wait until White Day.” The real Lukas smiles. “So I did.”

As Lien responds, the image changes to the one where Lukas was giving his own handmade chocolate to Lien. “Your chocolate was too sweet,” she remembers. “You Europeans use way too much sugar.”

“I was considering buying chocolate to give to you, but Matthias insisted that it had to be handmade,” Lukas defends. “Store-bought chocolate would have been a lot sweeter.”

The past Lien reflects Lien’s slight dislike of the sweet chocolate Lukas gave her. Both of them know that somewhere of the edge of the picture is a cheering Dane and a sneaky Taiwanese recording the event.

Lukas continues his speech. “After that, we continued to hang out and talk. That was when I really got to know you and we learned how to understand each other. I don’t know about you, but that was when I started realizing that I was falling and had fallen for you, hard. The next step was-”

The picture changes again, this time, there are four people sitting at a table in a cafe: two males on one side of the booth, and two females directly across from them. The Lien and Lukas in the picture watch fondly as the other two, Matthias and Mei, try to steal the other’s drink.

“Our double date, and our first date,” Lien finishes for him.

“Ja. I don’t know how Matthias got me to ask you out, or how he worked up the guts to ask Mei out, but we did it.” Although it wasn’t in the picture, the two of them, especially Lukas, remembered how Matthias had a hopeless crush on Mei, who happened to be Lien’s best friend. That was when Lukas and Lien were getting closer, and eventually, they decided to try their hand at matchmaker when Lien found out that Mei had a crush on the Dane too.

“We both accepted,” Lien adds. “Mei was very excited about Matthias; she couldn’t stop, and I quote, ‘gushing’, about Matthias. She even panicked about what to wear, what makeup to put on, more things I didn’t care about and I just told her to go as herself. She didn’t listen because she said I was nervous too. It was a disaster.”

“Not to Matthias or me, it wasn’t.” His smirk turns into a mischievous grin. “I didn’t know you two were nervous.”

Lien glares at him. “I wasn’t nervous,” she pouts.

His expression doesn’t change. “Sure,” he says, dragging the word out.

The image shifts again to the next Valentine's day, the one that just passed a few months ago. This time, it freezes on the moment just after Lien gave her chocolates to Lukas for the second year in a row. That Valentine's Day, after a few months of dating, Lien asked Lukas to meet her after school in another empty classroom. After all that time, they still had yet to share a kiss that was more than just a peck to the cheek. Touchy-feely things weren’t, and still aren’t really their strong suit either, but that day, they both made an exception. A very big exception that Lien had felt ashamed of for a few weeks after, but she never told Lukas that.

“You said I tasted sweet,” Lukas says, “but I said that it was just your chocolate.”

“I said you were a closet romantic.”

“You were right, but only for you.” He smiles sweetly, something he learned from Tino a while back.

Lien groans. “Please end this embarrassment.”

“Nei.” He waves his hands over the ground again, erasing the illusion. Just like at the beginning, new lines bloom to form large, glowing words on the ground. Lukas begins to speak as the words slowly write themselves.

“You poured your feelings out onto that letter, so I wanted to return the gesture, but I can’t say too much without being repetitive. I’ll say this instead, because it’s less sappy that other things I’ve said to you: you’re the reason why I’m not gay. I thought I was gay for one of my best friends, but you changed that.”

The glowing words on the floor were “Jeg elsker deg” with “Anh yêu em” written underneath.

Lien pinched the bridge of her nose, but she can’t hide the blush spreading across her face. “Lukas, you’re so cheesy sometimes.”

“Jeg elsker deg,” he replies.

Lien can’t bring herself to get mad at the infuriatingly smug Norwegian. “Matthias is rubbing off on you,” she says, but she can’t bring herself to put any bite in her words. He must have spent so much time and energy coming up with that spell, she thinks, I have to be grateful for that much, at least.

“Only for you,” he repeats.

Lien sighs, but she gives in. She crosses over the magic words, which erase themselves with every step she takes. Once she’s close to Lukas, closer that she’s used to, but she can deal with the proximity for now, she glares at him the best she can. Lukas is used to her glare, so he isn’t fazed by it, but just a moment later, she leans in.

When she pulls away, Lien whispers into Lukas’ ear.

“Em yêu anh, Lukas.”

She hears the words “jeg elsker deg” echoing in her ear.