Disclaimer: I (unfortunately) do NOT own Fairy Tail or any of the characters. I only am responsible for the (albeit poorly written and devised) plot.
I PROMISE THIS IS NOT A TRAGEDY WAIT COME BACK.
I swear to you guys, Lucy is not actually dead. I know, I know, spoilers. But I don't write or read tragedies. Ever. So I thought I'd give you all a heads up in case you have a similar policy to mine.
So just in case you've never read any of my stories before, just a heads up: my official pen name might be asian anonymous, but everyone calls me Pyro. Always.
(Also, this seems kinda similar to my other fic, Stronger, but this is completely separate from that.)
Natsu saw it every time he closed his eyes.
He saw her falling, tipping back just enough for the wind to catch her like a kite. Tipping the scale; the soft breeze just barely tilting her backwards.
And for a moment, Lucy of Fairy Tail was flying.
Until she wasn't.
Then she was plummeting down the side of a cliff, arms outstretched like a fallen angel.
Her blonde hair even fit the image; drifting around her shoulders like a demented, bloody halo.
It would have almost been beautiful… if it hadn't been the last moment before the whole world began to spiral down into hell.
Lucy's mouth opened to let out a silent scream. Perhaps it hadn't been silent. But all that Natsu had been hearing at the time was the thumping of his heart in his ears, and his own deafening roar.
"LUCY!" He screamed, lunging forward, bounding towards the edge.
But she slipped through his grasp, and all he could do was stare, horrified as Lucy's already wounded figure disappeared into the darkness.
He couldn't move, he couldn't blink; all he could do was stare, too shell-shocked to even move.
And then a sickening crunch hit his sensitive ears, and he stopped breathing.
Just like Lucy.
His vision was swimming with spots, as his body tried to remember how to take in oxygen. But Natsu's brain… his brain was trying to push through the heavy cloud of grief and the confusion and the sorrow and form a coherent thought.
He was deaf to the world; the tears rolling down his cheeks and his teammates calling his name from across the battlefield not even registering. No, he was too sad, and too scared to turn away. Because if he turned away, he'd really be leaving Lucy behind. He'd have to talk to everyone else, and explain with broken words what had transpired.
And he would have to acknowledge the fact that Lucy was gone.
Lucy was dead. His Lucy, his partner his best friend on the whole fucking planet was gone and would never, ever come back.
She'd never run up and hug him from behind again, never snuggle up against him in her sleep, never comb her fingers through his hair on a particularly intense bout of motion sickness.
He would never get to see her smile again.
The mighty Roar of the Fire Dragon was unleashed upon Fiore that day, shaking the ground with the sheer power of the sound.
Natsu awoke with a jolt, springing upright in bed, sweat and tears pouring down his face. His chest rose and fell in irregular, jerky movements.
Please, not again.
But no matter how much he silently pleaded to every religion, every deity, he'd ever heard of (and probably some made up ones as well), it was useless. He couldn't stop the rush of memories from washing over him, and then proceeding to make him feel like his heart was thrashing around inside of him. He twisted around in bed, trying to escape the feelings and the reminiscent images appearing before his eyes.
The first thing he remembered was that first mission. The first mission with Lucy, as a team.
That one didn't hurt as much. Not anymore.
Though he'd become somewhat desensitized to her appearance in his dreams, seeing her each time was still like a slap to the face.
The stinging sensation only lasted for a second, as he was whisked away to another scene.
It was Lucy.
Suspended in the Infinity Clock, the unmoving Celestial mage stared off into the distance at nothing.
This one wasn't so bad. Because that time, Lucy had been saved. Team Natsu had actually been there to save her (because god knows why; Lucy was always the target of something), and they had been successful. They'd rescued her; like a team was supposed to.
But then next memory… this one hurt. Like hell.
This one did feel like a slap.
Well, more like a punch to the heart.
It was Lucy's birthday.
They were gathered around a table in the Guild hall, just finishing the last note of the song. Her cheeks filled with air before she blew out her birthday candles, mimicking a Dragon Slayer's roar. The tiny flames were extinguished, which brought on clapping and cheering from all sides.
Straightening, she turned to the tiny girl clapping excitedly on her left.
"So, Wendy, how was that? Am I good enough to be a Sky Dragon Slayer yet?"
She winked at Wendy, whose laughter bubbled out. Beaming at Lucy, she responded with a sunny smile.
"I dunno..." Wendy teased. "I think you have a long way to go…"
And with that, the two girls burst into a fit of giggles.
Natsu, leaning on Lucy's shoulder, rolled his eyes.
"Girls are so weird," he complained. But, none the less, he wrapped his arms around her waist, burying his nose in her neck. "Lucy…" he whined. "You're so weird…"
Lucy only smiled in response, and put a hand to his head, patting it gently.
He looked up.
"Thank you," she said, genuinely giving thanks. She looked down at him, gratitude shining in her eyes.
"Thank you for all of this," she said, gesturing around at the Guild Hall, and all of her family.
"Thank you for bringing me to Fairy Tail."
She leaned over, just brushing her lips over his cheek for a quick second.
His body was engulfed in fire, shivering from their brief contact. But he just waved off the feeling, ignoring the tingling of his nerves.
"No problem, Luce."
That memory opened the floodgates.
Natsu crumpled under the weight of the memories, sobs racking his entire figure. He couldn't see through the tears, just blurred images and shapes.
He couldn't even hear Happy crying out his name, alarm clearly present in his tone.
Natsu didn't see the blue Exceed spread his wings either, and take off into the night.
All he saw was his Lucy, his beautiful and smart Lucy, dead and bleeding at the bottom of a ditch. He tumbled out of bed, and stumbled around until he found (what he assumed to be) his front door. Flinging the door open, he stepped out, and started to run.
Anything to get away from the memories of Lucy.
Now he was remembering her in his house, cooking for him, or bringing him soup that one time he had gotten sick. He saw her playing in the yard with Happy in the rain.
He ran farther, picking up the pace. His lungs burned, and his legs ached but he couldn't stop.
Until it all became too much.
His legs gave out from under him. He skidded to a stop, scraping his knees on the hard ground. He roared, letting loose a column of fire into the night sky.
"Natsu!" He finally heard when he'd regained his sense of hearing. He slammed his fist into the dirt, not looking up. Still breathing heavily, he'd known those voices long enough to recognize them on the spot.
"Go away," he breathed out, his voice quivering more than he'd like to admit. "Happy, go home. All of you, go back to sleep."
Erza's shaken voice was the first sound significant thing he'd heard all morning.
"Na- Natsu…" Erza started, moving forward to put a hand on his shoulder. "I didn't know-"
"You didn't know I was still having the nightmares?" Natsu asked, as he rose, a thinly concealed laugh in his voice. "You didn't realize it was this bad, is that was you were going to say?"
He realized then that he probably sounded out of his mind.
And he didn't care.
He turned on her, voice reaching an almost hysterical note.
"How could I not? We lost her, Erza. We let her die," Natsu said, his voice cracking. Erza, dressed in her thin pajamas, felt tears pricking at the corners of her eyes, and cloud her vision.
Gray stepped forward, grabbing Natsu by the shoulders.
"Natsu," he said in a low voice, making sure to looking him right in the eyes. "That's not the point. Next time, you tell us. How are we supposed to help you?"
"You can't help me!" Natsu snapped, wrenching himself away from Gray. He was curling in on himself, as if trying to make himself smaller.
Like he wanted to disappear.
"You don't get it! I see her everywhere! Everytime I close my eyes, every time I go to sleep she's there! And I miss her so damn much it hurts. It's like feeling her die all over again, every fucking night. Do you know what that feels like? In my dreams I see her smiling, and bright and alive and then I wake up… and she's gone," Natsu's voice broke off.
"Natsu... We know what it's like to lose-"
"No you don't!" Natsu roared. "I was the closest!"
"Natsu, that doesn't-"
"I watched it happen! Do you know what that's like?"
They went silent, their arguments dying on their lips.
"I had her! Our hands brushed! For a moment, I could see it in her eyes, she believed that I was going to catch her! That I was going to be there to save her, because that's what partners are supposed to do!"
Natsu, breathing heavy as he finished his mantra... surprised them all by dropping down to the dirt. Submitting to his anguish, he crumpled.
"But I failed," Natsu whimpered. "I failed her and I failed the entire world because my one job was to protect Lucy, and now there's a world with no Lucy in it and what's the point of even existing anymore-" Natsu cut his own rambling off with a hiccup. That didn't stop him though. He went right on talking, hysteria reaching in and making his heart race. "-and I know I'm not alone and I know that, believe me I'm aware that you guys are here for me but-"
Natsu had his knees pulled up to his chest, and he was rocking back and forth.
Choking on his own sobs, Natsu felt Erza rubbing his back. Her own tears were landing on his back, dripping down and falling into the dirt. Gray himself was shaking with sobs and tears that he just couldn't contain. Clearly, bottling up all your emotions and waiting for it to blow up in your face was not the wisest thing to do.
Which is something they'd all learned the hard way.
Glancing over at Gray, Erza saw the dark circles lining his eyes.
"...you've been having nightmares too, I presume?" Erza guessed, not looking Gray in the eyes. Knowing he'd been found out, Gray lowered his head. He knew there wasn't anything to be embarrassed about. He was just... ashamed. Not for mourning Lucy, he would never regret that, but for... not being strong enough when Natsu needed him. Of all of them, Natsu had seen the worst of it all.
"Yeah," was his short response.
And then his mind brought him to the one scene he didn't want to see.
Natsu emerged from the chasm, head bowed and eyes dark. Menacing shadows were cast across his face, giving him a more sinister look that Gray had ever witnessed. With Happy's wings seeming to emerge from the Dragon Slayer's back, Natsu looked like some sort of angel. An angel of death.
The corpse in his arms fit the image as well.
Natsu. It had to be Natsu, of all people.
Natsu had been the one to retrieve Lucy's broken body from the bottom of the pit.
At first he was silent, just staring down at Lucy's hair matted with blood that hadn't dried yet. Her eyes were closed, as if she were sleeping.
But they all knew that wasn't the case.
The scream he'd let out seconds after still haunted Erza's darkest nightmares. It seemed to have become the default soundtrack for any bad dream between the remaining members of Team Natsu. it was a sound that still rang clearly through their minds, a sound they just couldn't seem to forget. Though, to be fair, Lucy hadn't passed on all that long ago.
One month. Only one month since their dear teammate had died.
Needless to say, it had been a horrible month.
When they weren't mourning and crying and basically falling apart at the seams, they were slaving away on jobs. Hard ones. Usually on solo, seeing as they felt too miserable for companionship. Even Natsu didn't take Happy sometimes, so he could just pour all of his rage into a fight and not have to worry about scaring the little guy.
That, and... he didn't want to be responsible for another teammate's death on the battlefield. He couldn't live through another loss like that. Hell, he wasn't even sure if he was going to survive this loss. (And judging by his current progress, things were not looking good for him in the long run.)
He just wanted to hold her again... With her heart still thrumming strongly in her chest.
"Natsu, we know you and Lucy were... You two had a special relationship-"
"I loved her Gray, you can say it," Natsu interrupted, ignoring the concerned glances the Ex-quip and the Ice mages shared. He corrected himself. "I love-" he swallowed "Lucy, and there's not really any use saying I don't."
Anxious about his blatant statement, Erza as Gray shared a look, communicating that maybe it was time to step in.
"Natsu... I'm aware that Levy already told you, but you know... She loved you too..."
"Yeah. We were both pretty stupid huh?" A laugh bubbled out from Natsu's lips. "Both of us, thinking we were destined to be only teammates forever. I can't believe-" he laughed once again. "I can't believe I waited so long to tell her."
He stared up at the stars, bright diamonds embedded in the dark sky above him.
"And now I'll never be able to."
Natsu and Lucy had spent nights just staring up at the stars together. Enough for him to be somewhat familiar with the patterns of stars that depicted Lucy's Spirits. (Whoever had decided that the stars looked anything like creatures, Natsu had dubbed crazy. Or, maybe just drunk.)
Maybe if he'd been paying more attention to the night sky, he would have seen a once-dim constellation glow, no longer dormant.
Once the princess of Ethiopia, now depicted in the sky for all eternity for all to see.
It seemed that the position had finally been filled.
In the Spirit World, a human girl awoke.
Well... maybe not so human anymore.
So guys, you miss me? How was it? Not bad? Horrific? Whatever you think, I'd love to hear it! I know, I know, it's pretty crude so far. But believe me, I have some big ideas for this story.