SORRY! Honestly it is the only thing I can say at the moment. I know it has been forever and a half and all of my excuses (although valid to me) does not make up for my thoroughly extended absence. While I've been not updating this fiction I did make a few Naruto based ones awhile ago so if you're interested have a look. The two years has been a series of unfortunate events my father was quite sick and I was caring for him until he passed away in December. The beginning of April my Grandmother passed away and a few weeks later my Grandfather was diagnosed with Prostate cancer to go with his progressing alzheimers. I finally moved into a nice little bungalow with my husband and two daughters in May which after being separated for two years is quite the adjustment. Then at the beginning of August my surviving Grandmother was diagnosed with Uterine cancer. Add all this to my back arthritis and the breaks and disk bulges I have had a hard time writing and/or sitting at my computer for extended periods of time.

SO with that said I hope you enjoy what I have finally managed to get out and although I intend to update again (by the end of the month) I make no promises. Feel free to PM(pester me)

STANDARD DISCLAIMER (Fairytail does not belong to me) This story is mine though

PS THIS IS AN EDIT OF LAST CHAPTER posted- hopefully and improvement- I will be going through all of the chapters and reediting/posting them shortly

The moment her spirits disappeared she woke, feeling the magic return to her thrum through her veins and settle in her bones. Her heart rate accelerated slightly while she remained silent as if waiting for something, reassurance perhaps, Laxus to leave? He was sure the lightening slayer knew she was awake, his eyes had settled on the bedroom door for a couple seconds before looking back to the red eyed man, but he did not comment on it.

"I'll be back tomorrow. I'll figure something out by then." With that simple declaration Laxus turned to leave, stopping again to quickly look back on the door one last time.

"You better take good care of her Gajeel." His eyes had softened considerably, storming grey peering into the crimson eyes of his guild mate. It was strange seeing Laxus this way, so sincere and serious without even a hint of arrogance or sarcasm.

"I've got this."

Gajeel followed him to the front door locking it behind the blonde male after his quiet exit. He really wasn't in the mood to be entertaining anymore guests today and he sure as hell didn't want any surprise visitors.

After using the bathroom he headed back to the living room. Gajeel looked thoughtfully at the pink wool blanket sitting on the coffee table, he was sure it had not been there even ten minutes ago, his lips curled upward. He then turned on the lacrima TV and settled into the couch. Despite Laxus' disappearance Lucy had yet to show herself but he could tell she was awake and even moving about.

"Lucy, you can come out now, it's just me. Everything is okay." The door creaked open slowly and he could hear her shaking, the chattering of teeth as she struggled to move forward.

"Stop shaking and get over here Lucy. It's fine. You won't hurt me. Everything is going to be okay." Still she hesitated, and that alone chipped away at a piece of him. He closed his eyes his head tilting back, as he let out a sigh his hand came up to rub his eyes, he took a deep breath.

"I promise Lucy." Her eyes flew wide; promises were the foundation of a celestial mages magic, they mattered more than anything else to her. He knew this, he made her a promise, and who was she to deny him the fulfillment of said promise? So tentatively she stepped forward, matted hair stuck to her forehead and cheeks, her feet shuffling across soft carpet. Her bottom lip caught between her teeth as her hands held each other tightly nails digging into skin while she made her way to him.

He sat with his back to the arm of the couch one leg hanging off the other propped up, crimson eyes glued to her causing her face to heat up unused to the attention. A smirk cured his lips upward as he beckoned her forward, patting the couch between his legs, which seemed to be all the encouragement Lucy needed. She moved forward faster now, seemingly eager to be beside him and damn it all to hell if that didn't fill him with little butterflies and make him want to smile.

His arms wrapped around her and pulling her close, she didn't hesitate as she leaned into his chest, her legs curling onto the couch between his. She felt so small in his arms, so fragile, so vulnerable and at that moment he knew, regardless of what happened in the future he would always want to protect her. Seeing her like this left a pit like feeling in his gut, made him feel empty, he didn't like it. So he was determined to keep her safe, always, even if from herself.

"Gajeel" she whispered out his name, her honey coloured eyes fixated on him.

His eyes shifted downwards to meet hers. Knowing she had his attention, knowing that he cared caused her lips to tilt upward, instantly comforted by his uncalled for kindness.

"Thank you." With that her face fell toward his chest once more, her arms wrapping as tight as she could manage around his torso and closed her eyes.

A few minutes later her breathing evened out into a steady slow rhythm signaling the loss of consciousness.

The black haired man sighed, a frown pulling his lips downward. She was exhausted, which really couldn't surprise him considering the amount of magic and energy she had expelled of late. Honestly he probably should be making her eat instead of letting her rest against him, especially considering they both hadn't ate in the last twenty four hours, hell she probably hadn't eaten for much longer then that.

His fingers found purchase in blonde locks, gently rubbing nails against her scalp in a way he had seen her do for Natsu in the past. He watched her sleep, lips slightly parted as she breathed slowly, calmly, still her hallowed out cheeks gave him pause. The thought of her withering away, becoming nothing, concerned him in a much deeper way than he ever thought possible. He released her hair to carefully pull her closer; tightly wrapping his arms around her, his head lowered to her neck. Taking in a deep breath he closed his eyes and allowed sleep to overtake him, his nose subconsciously rubbing her throat while breathing in her scent.

The sound of metal clanking woke him, a growl breaching the surface instinctually as he turned his head. Before he could remove himself from underneath the woman resting so soundly the intruder made their way to him.

"I apologize for the intrusion Master Gajeel. I had intended to heat up the soup you had purchased for my Princess. Feel free to have her punish me should you desire it so." The monotone voice of Lucy's maid spirit sent a shiver down his spine.

'Fuck she's creepy' the black haired man thought, his mouth flying open as if to speak while the pink haired woman bent low bowing and left the room to resume her self imposed task. Though he would not willingly admit it to anyone at this time he was quite happy to remain comfortably surrounding Lucy as she slept on.

He closed his eyes but listened as Virgo made her way through the kitchen, soon he lost interest in that and opened his eyes again to focus on the woman who seemed to have crawled higher up his body in sleep. Her head nuzzled into his neck lips touching his skin and sending a jolt up his back as she smiled in sleep. He listened closely to her heart and breath to determine she was still indeed sleeping as his cheeks flushed. Thank Mavis no one could see him right now, that would have been embarrassing and even then he didn't think that it would stop him from acting as he was.

Heavily scared arms remained firmly in place holding her to him; a slight squeeze causing a sigh to slip from her lips. The blonde's arms came up in silent embrace as if reciprocating a hug and seemingly enjoying the comfort he provided even in sleep. That, this, it all amazed him, he was in awe, awe that this delicate, beautiful incredibly intelligent woman seemed to at least subconsciously crave his presence, and that made him smile.

It didn't take long for the smell of chicken broth to permeate the air causing his stomach to grumble in protest. It seemed his was also quite hungry after the healing process and everything else he had endured since coming to see her. He could wait though, the important thing now was to get Lucy fed.

Gently he shook her, her eyes slowly blinking open the half smile quickly disappearing as she clued in the world around her. She sat up, cheeks dusted pink and eyes filled with trepidation, she was still not quite able to trust her surroundings as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

"It's alright Lucy, you just need to eat. Okay?" He absentmindedly stroked long blonde locks his fingers halting at the ends he caressed the locks between them. She stared up at him eyes wide as she nodded, her hair falling from his fingers at the movement. Silently he helped her upwards the loss of contact affecting him more than he thought possible, his body automatically moving closer to hers as if he needed the reassurance of her continued existence. With a large hand on the small of her back he guided her toward the kitchen and the smell that had now filled the whole apartment.

Her stomach growled, the smell filling her nose making her mouth water. How long had it been since she had last eaten? She really didn't know. The days had all melded together in a stagnate state of misery, attempting to sleep her days away and when she couldn't she lay staring at the ceiling basking in her heartache.

It had never been this hard before. She hadn't had the hardest of lives, sure she had many hardships and things never seemed to turn out her way but she could always smile through them. This time was different, with this thing, all she felt was disgust; for her weakness, her inability to help those who needed it. Rationally she understood it was the only way, it was something she had to do for the sake of everyone, but this decision tore at her very soul, at everything that made her Lucy of Fairy Tail. It was like drowning and this time she didn't think she could ever reach the surface and catch air.

The heat of his skin pulled her out of her tortured thoughts his hands wrapped around her waist and guided her to a seat. Her eyebrows furrowed as his hands left her and he moved toward the pot on the stove and the bowls already sitting on the counter ready to be filled.

A pierced brow lifted noticing the look on her face, his lips twitching into a smirk.

"Virgo got it ready while we slept, I'm good but I can't manage two places at once like you can."

The look of surprise on her face caused him to let out a breathy laugh to which her face heated up, cheeks flaring and a smile pulling at her lips. With that his face transformed into a mighty grin, happy that he could make her smile even if it was short lived.

She had never seen him smile like that, it was almost magical. The smile transformed his face making him seem like a completely different person. Did he smile like that for everyone or was he actually opening up to her? She really didn't know why but that thought pleased her. She had always liked Gajeel (well after he joined the guild anyway) he was brave and strong and he didn't take shit from anyone. Mavis she wished she was like that. If he was in her place could he have saved everyone she wondered? He had saved her though, and for that she would be forever grateful.

"Thank you." She said quietly her eyes downcast as he set the full bowls down at the table some bread with his.

"It's nothing Bunny girl, just drink it up okay? Only broth for you, I'm sorry but I have no clue when you ate last and you shouldn't overdo it." She looked at him then, eyes seemingly searching for something. Her brow furrowed lips downturned.

"Not for this, well yes for this, but also for saving me. I never said it. So thank you." Her eyes focused on the bowl before her as if to avoid his gaze. It was his turn to frown as he watched her. This woman carried the world on her shoulders and was determined to take it on alone. His hand reached out cupping her face so she would look at him.

"Anytime, I mean it. Lucy I promise I will be here anytime you need me." Red eyes searched brown and he smiled when her eyes widened at his declaration.

"A-anytime?" she asked quietly, hesitantly.

"I will help you through this Lucy. I am not going anywhere." With that her arms flew around him in an embrace he whole heartedly returned. He smiled again sharp canines fully visible. Slowly she released him from her grasp and smiled. Even with hollow cheeks and dark bags he couldn't help but think how beautiful she was to him.

"Now let's eat." With that they ate in comfortable silence.