An Unbreakable BondBy the time the old party of six is reunited, Luke has made some progress in making himself a better person. The group decides to take it upon themselves to stop the God Generals. With Luke's ability to use a hyperresonance, he is able to lower the Outer Lands safely before they collapse like Akzeriuth. Needless to say, the other party members are far from being friendly with Luke at first. However, as time passes and Luke displays his new resolve, they begin with admire his strong will to change and progress thus far. Aside from Guy, Tear gives him the most constant stream of support and reinforcement to keep moving forward. Even when things don't seem to go well, she is there for him. Tear pleads for Luke to stop talking like he shouldn't exist and that everything would be better had he not been born. It seems to hurt her to see Luke under so much pressure and strain. Luke finally begins to show his appreciation for her more openly, especially after the passage ring in Shurrey Hill. He runs over to Tear and hugs her for a prolonged moment before taking her hand and thanking her over and over. Tear gets very embarrassed and stumbles on her words while saying she didn't really do anything. Luke won't have it, though. He really appreciates her being there and her support to get them this far--even if it was only small progress.
But of course, that doesn't mean the two admit their feelings are changing. When the group revisits Tataroo Valley, Luke mentions how he and Tear had already been there before at night. Luke gets embarrassed and frantically tells the questioning group that nothing happened. Tear then tells Natalia that the very idea of the two of them having "that sort of relationship" is absurd. Luke gets angry in response and Tear walks off. Everyone notices how she seemed to be really angry and the party (with the exception of Luke) is amused. It's clear to them that Tear has feelings for Luke. Once the two are alone, Luke wonders if she thinks he has changed from the time they first stood there together. She agrees that he has. Even though she makes a joke about it, I honestly believe she thinks he's changed for the better just because of how she has been interacting with him. Luke seems to be excited and pleased that she thinks he is improving; her word is very important to him. To be honest, if everyone else acted like he changed and Tear didn't, I think he would be upset and not feel confident about it. Tear was the one he asked to watch over him; it is her word that likely matters the most.
Luke's strong feelings for Tear become more evident after she begins feeling the effects of the miasma from the passage rings. When Lorelei possesses her in the Tartarus, Luke runs to her and holds her in his arms asking if she is alright. She insists she is fine, but Luke still helps her walk by putting his arm around her. He is obviously very concerned for her health because she seemed tired and weak after the previous passage rings. Once they bring her to the doctor in Belkend, the group finds out that every time they release a passage ring, Tear absorbs more miasma into her body. She will likely die if she continues to lower the Outer Lands. Jade encourages Luke to go to her side after they find out the bad news (though he is dense as usual and doesn't get why Jade is pushing him to do so). Tear is sitting calmly on one of the beds and tries to talk to Luke normally about the situation like everything is fine. Luke is displeased that she is trying to act like nothing is wrong.
TEAR: Are you worried about me?Luke begins to think hard of another way but knows he can't ask her to stop doing what they have been because everyone will die. He apologizes because he really wants to tell her to stop lowering the Outer Lands for her safety, but can't do that. Tear is speechless for a moment but then calls him an idiot because what he said is right. Tear informs him she would have lost all respect for him had he told her to stop, so it doesn't matter and he doesn't need to apologize.
LUKE: Of course!
TEAR: Thank you. I was right to believe in you.Even so, Luke thinks she is crazy because she just can't be okay dying like this. He wants her to stop acting tough all the time and wishes she would tell him how she felt so he could just understand and try to make her feel better! Tear asks to be left alone, but Luke refuses to leave her side. There is just no way he could leave her by herself in this situation after all she has done for him during his times of weakness. She begs him because she doesn't want anyone to see her crying. Luke simply turns around so he couldn't look at her. I absolutely loved this scene because I feel it symbolizes a big change in their relationship. Luke will not leave Tear no matter what the situation is; he wants to be by her side. He wants her to be by his side. Luke wants to understand her feelings and do something for her because she has done so much for him. Rather than simply labeling her a cold and harsh person to be rude, he is now frustrated with her outward demeanor because he wants to be let in to comfort her. He trusts her more than anyone else and likely wants her to rely on him, too. I also feel Luke is probably scared at this point too because of the possibility of losing her. He certainly doesn't want her to die and is kicking himself because he knows there is nothing that can be done.
Luke continues to search for alternative methods in order to do whatever he can for Tear. Luke feels even worse about the situation when he finds out Tear secretly leaves to talk to Van one more time. Not only is she physically straining herself, but her heart is also because Van and Legretta are two of the most important people to her. He promises himself that he will find a way to help her. With his relatively "care-free" personality, Luke doesn't tend to think about a specific subject frequently unless it is really important to him. The situation with Tear is constantly weighing on his mind until Ion is able to heal her. Clearly then, she is of great importance. Luke seems to be able to relax a little once he learns Tear is no longer in danger of dying from the miasma and is incredibly grateful for Ion's last act before his death.
Tear begins to slowly open up to Luke more by talking to him about Van as things with the God Generals become worse. She is obviously hurting inside, but the group would never know because she is constantly telling everyone she is fine and doesn't let her emotions show on her face. Through a little pushing, Tear finally talks about her feelings and keeps doing so with him because she knows he cares. He understands how hard it must be on her, especially after they believe they've killed Van. Immediately after Van falls to his "death," Luke puts his hand on her shoulder and gives her a reassuring smile. He doesn't say anything, but I think his gesture goes the extra mile for her. He is reminding her that he is there for her but doesn't force her to talk about her feelings in front of everyone else. For me, Luke having the desire to support her and the sense to do it in a way that doesn't make Tear in an awkward position is a prime example of how far he has come. After the party splits up, Luke reunites with Tear again and she promises to keep watching over him. She starts to give another reason for wanting to go with him, but stops herself and makes up an excuse. I'm pretty sure she was going to say something about her feelings for him! Unfortunately she got embarrassed and decided against it. The two return to the Outer Lands together once more.
Not too long after, the idea of Luke sacrificing himself in place of Asch to rid the world of the miasma is tossed around. Tear immediately comes to his defense. She yells at all of them to not talk about such things because they all know he is still in the process of trying to find his self-worth. She is disappointed in them for making it out to be some easy choices. Luke asks to think about it for a little while and eventually goes to talk to Tear in the library. She tells him she won't try to stop him, but she won't forgive him and hate him forever if he chooses to die. Tear is on the verge of tears when talking to him. Even so, Luke knows what he has to do. He decides to take Asch's place anyway. When the group reaches the top of the Tower of Rem, Tear goes against her words and pleads for him to stop. Right before he goes to sacrifice himself, she tries to run to him--only to be stopped by Guy grabbing her. Luke thanks him because he wouldn't want Tear to be hurt in the process. Despite Guy's strong grip, Tear continues to try and reach him desperately. It is very clear at this point how much her feelings for him have grown since the beginning. Just like how Luke didn't want to lose Tear to the miasma, Tear didn't want to lose him for the sake of getting rid of the miasma either. Luckily for them both, Luke ends up surviving and everything turns out okay for the time being. Tear is absolutely relieved and runs up to him as if she was going to hug him. She is definitely glad he is still alive.
Not that the group can expect peace for long, though. Luke's fonons are separating and there is a chance he will die anyway. Luke decides to keep it a secret from everyone. However, Jade can tell he is lying and Mieu overhears their conversation. Once Luke returns to the manor to rest, Mieu takes Tear aside and tells her of the conversation between Luke and Jade. Tear goes to the manor and questions him if what Mieu told her is true. Luke begins to shake and tells her the truth. He apologizes for keeping it a secret but Tear just makes him promise never to keep anything from her again. At this point, they've promised to be completely open with each other, which is another mile forward from where they came. Luke distrusted her greatly and Tear wouldn't reveal anything about herself to him in the beginning. Now, their communication is completely open. Both Luke and Tear have displayed how much they are vested in each other and want to know what the other is keeping to themselves.
Luke and Tear have a discussion in the evening before the final battle. Luke hopes his body will hold together until they are able to finish things with Van. Tear sits next to him and insists it will. It will hold tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. Luke looks down and begins to tell her something...but gets embarrassed and tells her to forget it! (These two sure are frustrating...) After calling him weird, Luke continues by saying he wanted to thank her. She kept her promise and watched over him the entire time, no matter what happened. Tear then informs him she will continue watching over him forever. Luke continues by saying how happy he is in the moment because he has his friends and Tear is there with him. Whether Luke accidentally slipped by not including Tear in the "friends" statement or not, I'm not sure, but there is a separation. He is content with her being there and likely feels better about disappearing when she is around. Regardless, being with Tear makes him comfortable and he enjoys her company. The two have certainly grown very close since they first met as their unbreakable bond has finally surfaced during this moment.
Not that they will admit it, though. Before the final battle with Van, Tear gets really nervous when they pick up Unicorn Horn from Yulia's tomb. Luke tells her not to worry because he would protect her if anything bad were to happen. Tear gets embarrassed and Luke quickly shouts he didn't mean it "that" way, causing Tear to get annoyed and say she didn't take it "that" way to begin with. The rest of the group is amused as usual, knowing they both did mean it "that" way and will just be stubborn until the very end.
After Van's defeat, each party member comes up to Luke and says something about how that moment is not their final farewell. Tear runs up to Luke and tells him that he has to come home, no matter what. She will be waiting for him...always. Luke promises that he will return to her. Tear turns away and whispers the words she can't bring herself to say out loud,