"Is everything ready?"
Teemo gave a thumbs-up from atop his stepladder as he clipped the other end of the banner into place. When she thought about it, Lux probably could have just had someone taller put it up, but...
"The cake!" she said, derailing her own thoughts, "The cake's done, right? He'll be here any minute!"
Pantheon set his latest creation down on the long table at the center of the room. It was concealed within a decorative box, but he'd assured her that it had been baked and shaped to exacting specifications using the finest fondant on Mt. Targon.
"Great! Now, what about the light show?"
At the far side of the room, Ziggs was still tooling around behind a tiny wooden display.
"Almost done, almost done! I don't have a lot of practice dealing with explosives in such... miniscule quantities. This thing couldn't kill someone if you threw them right into it!"
"Right. That's intentional."
Ziggs made the expression that told Lux he was rolling his eyes behind his goggles. "It's boring is what it is."
"You can blow up whatever you want afterward! Just hurry, we're--"
"Out of time!" said Karma as she rushed into the room, "He's here!"
"Places!" Lux shouted. The champions all scrambled and hid. Then she walked quickly to the center of the room, dispelling the Lucent Singularity that had at that point been the room's only source of light, leaving them all in darkness.
For a long while, nothing happened.
Someone shouted, "SURPRISE!"
"I didn't turn the lights on yet, Lee."
Lux heard the Blind Monk climb back into his hiding place. He made it just in time.
The door swung open, and Lucian stepped into the room. As he did, Lux spun her baton and sent a sphere of light straight up to the ceiling, illuminating the entire scene.
Everyone burst out of hiding.
"SURPRISE!" they began to yell, but they stopped when they saw him. The group stared at the newcomer. Lucian returned their stares. An awkward silence descended upon the room.
"SURPRISE!" shouted Lee as he jumped out of an armoire. "Haha! ...Oh, was I too late?"
A few of the champions shifted uncomfortably. Karma looked down at the back of her hand and mumbled, "Hm, I guess the summoners were right."
Lucian crossed his arms, "What is this?"
"Oh!" exclaimed Lux, remembering herself, "We heard a new person was joining the League, and so we thought we'd throw them a surprise party! ...That's you, right?"
"Yes, that's me."
"I thought so! ...We, um. We just... weren't expecting you to be... to be so..."
Lucian's brow furrowed. "To be so... what, exactly?"
"So... unusual." repeated Lux.
Lucian raised an eyebrow. He glanced across the room at a mangled creature of sewn-together flesh trying to extract itself from within a tangle of furniture. Its four robotic legs didn't seem to be making the task any easier.
"Yes. No! I mean, you're not unusual at all! And... and we just thought that was pretty unusual. That's all!" She smiled.
Lucian's expression was both confused and incredulous.
Lux rubbed her forehead.
"Well, that probably could have gone better."
She glanced back at the champions assembled behind her. Most of them looked rather uncomfortable with the circumstances, but something else wasn't right...
All eyes turned towards the collection of shrubs, uprooted from the garden outside, sitting in the corner of the room.
Graves shook his head, "I ain't gettin' anywhere near that."
"...That's probably for the best," said Lux. She turned back to Lucian, "Uhm, anyway, welcome to the League, please enjoy the party!"
Lux donned her brightest, most nervous smile, which only served to unsettle him further. She looked back at the others, hoping they might do something- anything- to alleviate the situation, but they all seemed rather at a loss for how to proceed.
Then Lux realized the problem.
Lucian was so... unique. So different from the others. There wasn't anyone here with whom he could relate... But Lux knew just the people who could help!
"I'll be right back!" she shouted. Then she fled from the room.
What proceeded was an awkward eternity of stares, shifting stances and cleared throats.
"So, um." said Teemo at last, "...Do you like rap?"
Suddenly the door swung open again. Lux returned, dragging behind her a pair of champions.
"Unhand me before I boil you in your own juices!" screamed a furious Brand.
"We're back!" said Lux.
"Miss Crownguard, I still do not understand why you require my presence here," said Nasus.
Graves whistled, "I ain't gettin' anywhere near this, neither." With that, he excused himself from the room and took his leave along with several other champions.
Lux rubbed her forehead again. This was going from bad to worse, and fast.
"I have a solution..." said a voice like bubbling ichor.
At the sound of it, Lucian wheeled around and drew his weapons.
There was Thresh, floating in the center of the room. Though his face was naught but bone and ghostly fire, he somehow seemed to be grinning.
"...Thresh..." Lucian hissed.
Lux's face lit up, "Oh, good! You know each other?"
"Why did you invite him?" He growled.
"I, uh..." Lux began. She stared at Thresh for a moment, then looked at Teemo, "Why did we invite him?"
The yordle scout could only shrug.
Thresh tilted his head back and cackled.
"What's the matter, Lucian? This party is for you. Have some ...cake."
With a swipe of his grisly sickle, the decorative box fell away, revealing the cake in question. Lucian's expression darkened.
"That, um. That's not the cake I ordered," said Lux.
"No. It is the cake I ordered. How do you like it, Lucian? It's only fondant, but I feel the baker captured her likeness perfectly. This is exactly how she looked that day... But I don't think I have to remind you."
Thresh made a sweeping motion with his arm, his chains rattling.
"Who wants to cut the first piece? You can see how wonderful it felt."
"Who is that supposed to be?" Lux asked.
Lucian responded through clenched teeth.
Lux smiled, "Aww! How cute!" Lux imagined she was supposed to look like she was sleeping, even though her eyes were open, and her expression was more a mask of horror than anything else, but that might have just been from the fondant settling, probably.
Lucian's fingers tightened around the grips of his relic-weapons.
"Great party Lux," said Gangplank, "But goodbye."
With that he, along with most of the remaining champions, filed quickly from the room.
"The rest of you are going to want to follow them," warned Lucian. "This is between me and him."
No! Lux thought. She couldn't bear to let the party end like this. They hadn't even gotten to the fireworks yet!
"Hey, this cake's not bad." said Lee. He wiped a bit of raspberry filling from his mouth, "A little too moist, though."
As she looked at the Blind Monk, a solution to this problem came to her.
"Ziggs!" she called.
The yordle demolitionist poked his head out from behind a chair.
"What about it?"
"Did you build it exactly like I told you to?"
The yordle smiled sheepishly. "Well, um. No."
Lux grinned, "Good. Lee!"
Lee Sin looked up from his cake. "Huh?"
"It's time for a party game!" Lux ran to a table at the side of the room and grabbed a rolled-up piece of paper and a long strip of fabric with a tack punched through one end.
Lee hooted, "Alright! What are we playing?"
Lux charged at Thresh, unfurled the paper, and thrust it into his chest. Then she turned and threw the tack-and-fabric at the monk.
The warden looked down to find that the poster he was holding was printed with the image of a donkey. A donkey with its backside pointing towards the fore.
"You're gonna pin a tail on this jackass."
Lee pumped his fist, "Yes! That one's my favorite!"
Lux watched as Lee Sin vaulted the table, caught the tack with his foot in mid-flight, and landed in front of Thresh, who only had a second to realize what was going on before the force of Lee Sin's tack-enhanced Dragon's Rage took him full in the chest and launched him backwards into Zigg's display. As soon as the warden's ghostly fires touched the explosives within they detonated, blowing everyone left in the room backwards, evaporating Thresh's form and sending his lantern- and him- clear through the ceiling and out into the night.
When Lux came around, she was fairly certain the day had been saved.
Next to her, Lee Sin coughed. He was lying on the ground and covered in soot.
"I've never... won that hard before." he croaked. "I don't think I'll do it again anytime soon."
"You did great, Lee," she said. Then she turned, preparing to apologize as much as she could to Lucian... but he was already gone. She sighed and buried her face in her hands, "I can't believe how badly I screwed that up. I don't think it could have possibly gone worse."
As soon as she said it, one of the last intact cabinets flew open and out jumped a hulking figure wrapped in a white sheet with a tall, pointed white hood covering his face. In his hand he held a rusted cleaver that he swung with reckless abandon.
"RARRR!" it snarled, "MUNDO DESTROY PURIFIER!"
"...Mundo, what are you doing?"
Suddenly Mundo stopped, tugged off his hood, and looked around.
"Where party go?"
"It's over, Mundo. You missed it by... I don't know how long. ...Really, though. What are you doing?"
Mundo smiled stupidly, eager to explain. "Mundo hear that new champion was ghost-hunter! So Mundo dress up as ghost to scare him! Good prank, huh?"
Lux stared at Mundo for a moment, then looked at Lee.
"I'm wrong. I guess it could have been worse."
They all shared in a laugh, even if Mundo was only laughing because the other two were laughing, and Lux decided that the night had turned out alright after all.
She probably wasn't going to throw any more parties for a good long while, though.