Hey guys :) Thank you so much for all the support, all your reviews mean a lot to me and they do encourage me to keep going.

So, thanks a lot to: WishingUsuiWasReal, MeahChan, Amy Kitty Katz, Cirrusstratus, Please Notice Me Sempi, 0Bluemoon0, Nicola105, IdentityCrisis03, MelodyOrchid, MistyDew, Rafaela12346789, noah03, and xXx Tigerblade xXx, for reviewing, following and favouriting this story.

I would like to mention, that I have used the concept of a mediator in this story. It's there in some books and TV shows, where a human is like a guide for spirits to the afterlife or next world, and that's the idea I have used for Lucy here. I do not own this concept of a mediator, but I have used it. :)

I hope you like this. :)


Two

It was dark when the door next opened. I'd been in my usual perched position on by the window, watching the cars on the lit streets.

Being poetic, you see. And yes, even ghosts get to be poetic.

As the door shut, I turned my head quickly. The blonde girl had come in looking worn out, and the first thing she did as she kicked off her shoes was turn her eyes to the window.

I raised my arms helplessly. "Still here."

She looked a lot less terrified now. In fact, she looked as if she'd caved into something, though I was not sure what. "I was hoping you'd have not existed by the time I came back," she said at last.

"Touché."

As I came down, I noticed her wary expression. She looked even messier now; I caught the crumbs and sauce on her hands. Was she working here?

"I think we should talk." Stepping on dangerous waters here. "And I mean, really talk."

Looking tired, she sighed and then sat down on the nearest box of luggage. The rest of her things had come up somewhere in the evening, and I hadn't touched them. The last thing she would want was ghostly DNA all over her stuff.

"Look," she said, looking at the wood. "I thought this wouldn't be happening again, but it is."

"What do you—"

But she held up a finger to stop me, and I did. "I think," she continued. "That if you would just please leave and never come back here, we'll be alright. Everything will be fine."

Excuse me? Here I was, having an actual conversation with a living, breathing human again, and she was talking about asking me to leave?

It's a shame we don't have a scary switch or something. Being a ghost doesn't really have its perks. You'd think we'd be cooler.

"No," I said suddenly, feeling a twinge of annoyance. She looked up, and I noticed the light chocolate brown colour in her sleepy eyes. "No, everything will not be fine. Who are you?"

She frowned. "Isn't that what I should be asking?"

"I'm dead," I said flatly, watching her wince. She didn't scream though. Or run away again. She looked defeated, as if a horrible suspicion had been proved correct. "I'm seventeen, and I've been seventeen for the last three years. And you're the first living person I've talked to since. You need to tell me—what you are," I ended.

We both glared at each other for a minute, both of our lips turned down at the corners in fury. Then she recoiled and brought her knees up, resting her chin on it.

"Fine," she said. "I've talked to one before. One of you," she said.

That kind of hurt, the way she said one of you, as if we were a pack of mutts. But then, there were only so many polite words for ghost communities.

"What do you mean?"

Another sigh. "It happened when I was fourteen," the girl said after a small pause. "We'd just moved to Magnolia, my mum and I. On our second day here—" she took a shuddering breath. "Someone called out me on the porch. I was just locking the door, and I heard this woman call out to me."

Confused, but thrilled, I felt myself sit down on the floor. "What did she say?"

She shrugged. "She said, 'There you are. Finally.'"

"What? What kind of a—"

She shot me a scathing look, and I shut up. She looked away as she spoke again. "Then she said she was ready. Ready to move on to her next life. She was a young woman, barely twenty. When she saw me, she looked so happy, I thought she was an old relative I'd forgotten. But then," she stared directly at me. "Then, she took hold of my hand, and clutched it tight. The next second I was yelling in pain, and she was still smiling and—" she broke off.

I didn't want to, but I couldn't help myself. "Then what?"

"The pain stopped, and she was gone." She turned her eyes back to me. I noticed how long her dark lashes were, and then quickly averted my eyes. "One of our neighbours was right outside our house; he was worried. He kept asking me why I'd screamed and I kept telling him about the woman."

The blonde sucked in a deep breath and looked up at the ceiling. "He said he'd seen me extend my hand and start crying out. There was no woman. He saw no one."

I had seen some heroes in my little community, but I couldn't imagine how this flustered half-woman here had survived through this. What she said fit perfectly. When I got my pep-talk on moving on and stuff, my helpful ghostly grandpa had told me something—something about passing through living ones. Exceptional ones, who were the bridge between the two worlds.

"That's why, when you said you're dead..." She buried her hands in her face. "I don't want to have anything to do with this."

We were silent for a moment. Her eyes were glazed as she remembered that horrifying incident, and mine were watching her.

She was first to speak. "So you understand now?" She set her jaw firmly, as if braced for a fight. "You understand why I don't want to believe you're actually here?"

"Hey, I've been here for—"

"Look, I needed a job, and I got a place," she interrupted me. "I just want to live my life, and I don't want you here. It's…unhealthy."

Despite knowing what she'd seen and gone through, I felt insulted at the way she spoke to me. It wasn't my choice to be dead, you see. I didn't ask for who knows how many years of pointless floating around before I found that little something to move on.

"No."

She cocked an eyebrow. "Sorry?"

Mimicking her expression, I got up, arms crossed. "I said no. I'm not leaving. This is my home, so I guess you're my roommate now."

Looking as if she was living a nightmare, she shook her head violently. Her tangled hair started to stick up. "No! You don't understand," she pleaded finally. "You can find a new place, but I've barely got enough money to stay here! Waitressing isn't going to give me enough!"

I couldn't find a new place, and I wouldn't. There were only so places where I'd be welcome, seen or not. It was pretty evident she didn't want ghosts around (duh) so I wasn't going to bother her, but in a way, she could see it as me just haunting her room. You know, same old.

I leaned forward, clapping one of her shoulders. "Look, I swear I'm not going on any time soon. You don't have to worry. Just, this is my home okay? I can't leave."

She uttered a low sound and moved away from my hands, again. "Don't touch me," she snapped.

I whistled, holding up my hands. "You're very polite, miss."

"You're dead," she hissed.

"And you're not," I said simply. "I like this game. What's next?"

"This is not a GAME!" Her voice became a bit hysterical, and I stopped trying to make fun of her, looking apologetic.

"You do realize what you are?" I said, when she didn't speak.

"What?" she spat out.

"You're like—a mediator, of sorts. You're like a guide, to the next world. You have a gift."

"Oh a gift alright," she said bitterly.

That seemed like it. We stayed silent for a while, nothing but the noise of cars between us, until she ran her fingers over her tired face, stifling a yawn.

"Sleepy?" I said obviously.

She got up without answering, looking around resignedly at the more or less empty but cleaned room, and all her unpacked boxes and bags.

"Just because you're staying here," she said, turning her back to me and heading toward the bathroom. "Don't think you and I are going to be talking."

With that she entered and slammed the door shut.


I didn't sleep. I didn't need to, more like. I closed my eyes when I was tired sometimes but it never helped.

So I stayed in a corner of the room, leaning back against the walls. When she walked out in her nightclothes and her brushed hair, she looked definitely better.

Well, at least until she saw me.

"What are you still doing here?" she snapped.

Alright, now she was getting on my nerves. Mediator or not, no one gets to speak to dead people this way.

I narrowed my eyes. "Roommates, remember?" I said coolly.

She made a mingled sound of exasperation and disgust and headed towards the bed. Ignoring me, that's the new game.

It wouldn't matter much to me. Admittedly it would be frustrating not be able to talk to the only living person, but of course she wasn't one for thinking about me.

Hey, like I said, I can be a nice guy. If Little Miss Sunshine wanted her privacy, I could totally do that.

"You know what," I called loudly, as she flung her clothes onto the bed. "You've made it pretty clear you hate ghosts—"

"Well—"

"—so just as a way to show you how respectful we are," I continued, my teeth on edge with the last word. "I'll leave you alone."

Still looking ready for a fight, she relaxed a bit, bewildered. "You will?"

I shrugged. "See you in the morning then." I gave her a small, victorious smirk and enjoyed the silent shriek of rage in her eyes.

It was strange, the way she looked at me, as if I'd drag her into a nightmare any moment. She'd seemed rather nice when she came here—kind, even, the way she spoke to Mr. B.

But I guess species matter. Huh.

"Whatever." She turned around and climbed onto the bed, dragging a pillow over her face as I continued to watch her.

I could've slipped out of the window, but the sensation still made me feel odd all over. I'd never got used to the way the others melted into nothing but wisps of spirits into the air, arriving at where they wanted—though I'd definitely heard of some of them losing a limb in the process, and though it could not have hurt, it would seriously ruin matrimonial chances.

So I crossed over to the front door, glancing back at her as I did. She wasn't sleeping, but trying to convince me with her suspiciously loud breathing.

"I'm leaving."

No answer.

"You could tell me your name, at least," I said. "Since we're going to be living together and all."

She didn't reply.

"I'm Gray Fullbuster," I hinted.

When she didn't move the pillow from her face, I closed my eyes in irritation and made to shut the door behind me.

As I stepped out, I heard her muffled voice from the bed. "My name's Lucy." A pause. "Lucy Heartfilia."

I smiled. "Goodnight, Lucy Heartfilia."


"Oh boy."

I stared up warily at the glittering neon sign on Piper's Hotel and Casino. It was an old place—had been there on the corner of Gale Street for centuries, so I guess that's how it became such a popular ghost hangout.

Now if you're wondering, I'd like to tell you, that we dead people do not turn into zombies. That's terribly racist, I'm afraid.

(Technically the polite term for ghosts is supposed to be spirits nowadays, but who has time for small details like politeness, right?)

So any human entering this hotel would probably not feel more than the slight unease in an atmosphere where ghosts are. They most certainly would not run screaming their heads off from an army of green goopy half-dead zombies.

It's a tough job being scary, I tell you.

I wound up at Piper's last night without really knowing how.

Maybe I missed my ghostly pals. Or perhaps I needed advice about how to deal with humans; when I'd been one, I certainly hadn't been this complicated around the topic of dead spirits.

When I entered, I was immediately hit by the glaring lights and loud music; looks like I entered through the wrong way.

Ten minutes later I found myself on the carpeted floor of the hotel, trying to remember exactly which place it was that my community was haunting, when I was pushed from behind.

I turned to see my least favourite ghost. No one really knew what his real name was, this ghoul, but his popular nickname was Hot Eye.

Like, ew. What kind of a ridiculous name is Hot Eye? For a dude.

He grinned down at me. "Hey, Blue!" he spoke too loudly than required. "Long time no see."

Regretting my decisions already, I gave a non-committable jerk of my head. "It's Gray."

This ghoul was bonkers, I tell you. He must have been a small-stage actor in his human life, because I'd never seen him without the hilarious make up on his face.

"Whatever." He beamed. "Come join us for a drink!"

Thoroughly confused, I followed him up a flight of stairs and into a suite room. It wasn't very suite room inside, I can tell you that. In fact, when fifty or so ghosts occupy a hotel room, it's not exactly the prettiest of sights because ghosts are some of the messiest people out there.

I lost Hot Eye in the crowd, but half through the room I noticed the dining table had been converted into a bar counter where our wise, old poltergeist was handing out mundane drinks. The spirits were draining them, but of course they couldn't feel them—we couldn't eat or drink human food. Actually, the fact that I'd not touched a chocolate bar for three whole years of my life was a miracle enough.

They were shouting for more drinks. Pathetic.

Those blokes ain't going to move on.

"Gray?" I heard a soft voice call. "Hey, Gray!"

"Mavis?" I looked over the crowd to spot her, and quickly made my way to her.

Mavis was a small, delicate ghost. She was a petite figure really, and she was a lot younger than me when she died, but she was one of the normal ghosts out here.

"Hey!" She smiled up at me. "I thought you didn't come here anymore!"

"Oh I'm not here to stay." I returned her smile. It'd been ages since I'd seen her, but she was always very quiet and stayed with her mother; it was very rarely that we got to talk to her. "Where's your mother?"

Mavis's eyes turned darker and she looked down, fiddling with her thumbs. "She—uh, she moved on."

"Oh, my God." I stared at her in shock for a second, and then reached out to embrace her. "When?"

"Last week. I think it was through a small boy." Mavis shrugged. "I didn't know there were any mediators in this town, but…" she trailed off. We broke away and I patted her arm comfortingly.

There are, I silently thought.

"But it's okay," Mavis said a little more brightly. "I'm happy for her. Though I do wonder what's left for me to do…"

"I kind of wanted to ask you about that," I said. Yes, I know she was miles younger, but she'd been dead longer. Technically in dog years—er, ghost years—she was older. "Do you think it ever happens for some people?"

"What do you mean?"

"Are there any of us who never move on?" I said more clearly.

Mavis nodded. "Some of us never find it, but it's very rare. Too rare. Imagine wandering for eternity," she finished in a horrified tone.

"Hey Fullbuster!" Someone called from the makeshift bar. "Come have one of these—er, what are these Al?" He turned to a guy beside him and then called back. "Yeah, a scotch! They're pretty!"

I stared blankly at him. That guy had died somewhere in the 16th Century, and he still hung around stealing video games he couldn't play and drowning scotches he couldn't drink.

"No thanks," I called lazily.

Mavis gave a little giggle next to me. "There's one example of a lost cause."

I grimaced. "So, this human is now living where I was."

My friend flipped her long, silvery hair back and her green eyes widened. "Tough for you, huh?"

I gave a sarcastic sort of laugh. "Tough for her," I said. "She can see me. And hear me."

"A mediator?" Mavis looked surprised.

"Seems like an inexperienced one," I said. "Only one woman, when she was fourteen."

"Well how old is she now?"

I opened my mouth and then shut it again. "Uh, I didn't ask. She's not exactly friendly."

Someone put on very loud and very rubbish music, and no one protested. Mine were drowned in the sea of cheers and beats. These ghosts at least knew how to party. I wonder how they'd managed to live here this long.

"But I don't want to leave," I said, turning back to Mavis. "I can't find another home, can I?"

She looked at me with a bit of pity. "You could, I guess," she said. "But it's hard for us to leave the places we call our own. There are only so many places where the dead are welcome."

I stuffed my cold hands inside my pockets. Being dead is being cold. (Which doesn't reduce my external hotness, ladies, I assure you.) "You see, I've lived there for so long—"

"You mean you've haunted your little place."

"Uh no, I—"

"Call it what you want Gray," Mavis smiled. "If you live where a human does, you're haunting that place."

Some tall ghost with dark ringlets framing her face reached out and grabbed Mavis by the hand. "Come dance with us," she offered in a loud, boisterous voice. As Mavis gave me another apologetic smile and let herself be dragged off, her friend peered down at me. "Who are you?" she said.

"Oh never mind me." I gave her a small wave. "I'm just leaving. Bye Mavis."

Her goodbye was lost in loud yells and music as the rest of them joined. A couple of other ghosts—an old, married, and very much ever-grumpy gay couple leered at me as I went. Some of them didn't like the way I stayed away from their usual haunting places, but hey, I'm a hot, tragic lone wolf. They should write TV shows on me.

As I made to leave, a hotel janitor gingerly opened the door and peered in, frowning. As far as I knew, he probably couldn't see anything but a loud music system and six or seven shot glasses.

Trying not to laugh as he made his way slowly to the music system, I watched him shudder a bit as he walked past the several ghosts. He switched it off and then with another shiver, hurried out of the room.

As I left too, I distinctly heard Hot Eye say something and then promptly turn the music back on.

The terrified janitor, unable to understand what just happened, quickened his pace through the corridor.

For a little bit of fun after a messed up day, I followed him and blew air onto his neck.

He gave a small yelp and rushed down the stairs, and I leaned back against a wall, laughing loudly.


You want to know what I'm doing right now, eh?

Don't lie. I know you like me.

Jokes aside, I found myself walking back to Bells Corner at around four in the morning. It had been raining all night, but instead of my clothes getting wet, I simply felt colder and clammier.

There was a narrow second flight of stairs right next to the restaurant that led to the small flat, and another inside. I liked the smell of the food despite not being able to eat them, so I generally went through the pizzeria.

As I entered, I noticed the owner, Igneel come out of the back door. He was followed by his son, but I never really found out what his name was.

They were arguing about something and I couldn't help but overhear.

Scratch that. I love eavesdropping.

"Would you please give it a rest, Natsu?" Igneel was saying. "I'm not hiring anyone any more. I can't afford it. This isn't just some place where all your friends get money, you know."

"Dad, it's just one year! And we'd need the money for our band and—"

"Well, instead of making Sting work, maybe you could try working for a change," Igneel said in a dangerous tone. "And I've hired the last one. There are no more empty spots."

"So you can't help me out?"

"Don't be ridiculous, Natsu." Igneel glared at his son. "I just hired this young woman yesterday, and I can say she needs the job more than Sting does. Both of you should focus on college, not on a band."

"Ugh." Natsu rolled his eyes, looking a lot like a spoilt brat, and I loved it when his dad stuffed a rag in his hands and said, "Go clean the tables, now that you're here."

This is why I liked Igneel. He was one of the most sensible people in this town.

"But they're clean!" Natsu protested and I made my way up like a boss up the stairs.

"Well." Igneel's voice wafted up. "Clean them again."


I reached my flat, but when I tried to get in, I saw the door was locked. I gritted my teeth. That little blonde freak.

Being the cool cat I am, I slipped in through two adjoining windows. This wasn't the first time I'd had to fight a locked door.

Here's the part where I come in and see a pretty Lucy sleeping peacefully, with her long, golden hair haloing her face and whatnot. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Less dramatically, I came in to see her sprawled across the bed, a pillow dragged over her head and one arm dangling onto the floor. I heard a small, muffled sound of her snoring very, very lightly.

I shook my head, grinning a bit, knowing how stalkerish it was for me to come back here while she was still sleeping. She did have nice hair though.

Determined to keep my word, I turned to sit in my usual position, when my knee accidentally knocked over a plastic bag perched on top of a box by mistake. "Damn it!"

It fell to the floor with a thud, and Lucy jolted awake, the pillow falling. Light sleeper, then, huh? She looked around wildly for a second, saw me, and there it was, her usual frown back on her face.

"Just what do you think you're doing?"

I held up my palms in protest. "Hey, I just came back!"

Trying to hide her sleep-mussed state, she ran her fingers through her hair a bit. "Go away." Her words were cut off with a yawn.

I really wish she'd stop saying that. "You know you snore in your sleep, right?" I teased. Hey, if she was going to be rude with me, I was going to have my fun. This was a two-way street.

She blushed in embarrassment for a second, before looking up at me. "I hate you," she said darkly.

"Comes with the package, Lucy Heartfilia." I smirked, swinging my legs over the window sill and looking away.

I tried not to chuckle as she muttered incoherent insults after me.

It was going to be this way for a while.


That's it then :) I really hope you liked this chapter. Please review!