A/N: I always wondered what exactly happened to future Lucy, how is that future unraveled and how events shaped her personality. This will be a story about what happened if destroying Eclipse Gate failed. Fair warning, story may not be suitable for everyone it will be heavy and at points, violent. Roller-coaster included.


Day was warm, more so than it should have for autumn. Heat was getting to her, she felt as if her uniform is practically strangling her from her neck right down to her very toes, but she wasn't complaining. From one table to another and then back at the counter, Lucy was moving with restless steps. It has been two months since she started working in small restaurant in Magnolia but desire to once again return to old life never left her. She missed her writing, her scripts, unfinished books and various short stories that were intended to be published one day, be it through someone's help or by herself. Those days now feel like a distant past, suitable only for reminiscence that sigh would follow.

Today was busy, quiet but busy. People come and take order, hardly speaking much even among each other. Even those who would be merry and attempt to pass onto others would soon quiet down as black and red jacket would walk in. Silence would spread inside locale and only sound of forks and knives pressing against plates would be heard. It was in those moments when Lucy's calmness and often seen cheerful nature would disappear like hot breath on cold morning; disperse as easily as it was created. Nevertheless, she still smiled… fake, forced smile but it was there.

Evening was slowly approaching, and working hours were coming to an end. Just one more hour and she can drag herself back to her apartment and wait for another day. Everything pointed out that this would be just a quiet evening, but alas… things do not always end up as one would wish. Her head turned as she heard the small bell that was placed above doors, signaling new customer that comes or one that would leave. Man, wearing brown jacket and matching pants, briefly looked around and walked toward the very corner of small restaurant, sitting at the table, far away from everyone else. Lucy looked left, then right and walked toward the man.

"Can I take your order?" She asked, holding small note in hand with pen in other.

"Coffee." Man replied. Within several minutes Lucy returned with mug, placing down on table in front of him. "Any news?" man asked, looking up at her as he took a slow sip of his hot beverage.

Lucy looked around, worried, searching locale carefully with her eyes before returning her gaze and leaning down, waving head slowly "Nothing. I haven't heard from them. It should have been done days ago but I saw no one at location."

"Well we don't have much time." Man said, rubbing his forehead, frowning at the situation.

"I know that." Lucy replied, her voice sounded louder than she intended and she quickly looked over her shoulder again and lowered her voice "I know that but I can't make them come any faster."

"I wasn't implying that." Man replied with cold voice, worried "Report to tavern after your shift."

Lucy nodded and left the table, returning back to counter. To say that she hated this kind of life would be understatement and fact that today was pay day gave her no consolation. It was, in fact, a reminder of the constant cost this entire thing is placing on her shoulders… not just on her, on everyone involved. Nevertheless she continued, tirelessly moving from one table to another, accepting orders from various people and bringing food and drinks. There was no rest, no break, not a moment to collect her resolve and continue with her work… all she had in her hands was a sad fact that she should be glad to work where she does now… after what happened to her not too long ago, she could barely collect her strength to do so. All that was left was despair and endless amount of hatred.

Clock reached 20:00. Man with neatly combed hair and black and white uniform closed the doors of restaurant, switching a sign from "Open" to "Closed". It was time to go home but first she was to collect her pay for this week. Man approached two of his waitresses and handed them envelopes. Lucy's brows furrowed slightly as she held her envelope… it was thinner. Her suspicion has proven to be correct, her colleague immediately protested but owner simply explained that sales are low and he has to cut some expenses. He finished with simple "If you do not like it, you are free to go." For Lucy, this was not an option and she remained quiet, thanking the owner before leaving. What she was going to do? She wished she could skip it, just this month… It was barely enough. Just, barely.

Streets of Magnolia used to be much merrier, especially in this time of year when festivals would start one after another, various guilds celebrating and trying to show off as much as possible. Children would laugh and run, parents would yell for them to come back, air would be filled with scent of cotton candy, soft and strong drinks, perfumes and food. Fairy Tail would use this opportunity to cause as much mischief as possible, unintentional but they would still be blamed for occasional wrecking. Mayor would rip his own hair at the very mention of Fairy Tail, but people were quick to forgive them. They were pride of Magnolia… And now? There were neither festivals nor lights of all colors. Silence replaced cheerful banter and instead of stalls of food, rubble was there, yet to be cleared and dust cleaned. Even if some passenger would to be seen, he would walk with hands in his pockets and head bowed forward, contemplating on the dire situation, looking for way out of this. She wanted to not pay attention to it, she wanted so hard to just ignore all this, to pretend it is a dream… to shake this odd chill that climbed up her spine and under her skin. Her arms would fold and hands grasp arms just above elbows and with even lightest of squeeze, nightmares would again appear before her eyes. She wanted to forget… but she could not.

One step led to another and soon she found herself in front of a tavern, rare one with windows that were not shattered. She opened doors and entered, quickly looking around. This was only place where any form of laugh could be heard and it was always busy. People here seemed to have easier time forgetting things. Slowly she approached counter where a man was wiping glass with clean white rag; tall man, wearing gray shirt and white apron, hair black as night with equally black beard. She approached and sat on the stool.

Lucy took deep, silent breath "I'm here to-"

"The usual? Coming right up!" Tender interrupted her and turned, taking a kettle from the small stove beside and poured some of the coffee from it into a cup. He placed same cup down on counter and slowly moved it toward Lucy. His hand rotated just a bit and he tapped it with fingertip on the side. She knew what it meant and slowly her head turned, enough to spot with corner of her eye… Two men sitting at table, wearing matching jackets of black and red colors. They appeared to be uninterested in what transpired around them. Slowly, Lucy turned her head forward and offered a slight nod. Man did the same and moved away, continuing his usual work of serving drinks to people.

She tilted the cup, eyes fixed on the reflection on the dark, warm surface, leaning forward just enough she could see her eyes in it. Slowly she moved it toward her lips and took a small sip, trying as best as she can to savor the sweet and bitter beverage. First coffee today and for one minute it made her forget about everything. Patiently she waited.

"Hey sweetness, what is a girl like you doing all alone huh?" Voice came from the side and she turned to see. Young man, mid-twenties with dark hair matching eyes, having large smile on face that revealed his teeth. She wasn't nearly as vexed by this attempt as much as she was by the fact what he wore… It was him, one of two that were in the corner. "Why don't you come with us and we can have some fun, eh?"

"Thanks but I already have a boyfriend." Lucy lied, trying with all her might to remain calm.

"Screw him! You know who we are?" He asked, every word was like a nail inside her ears, painful, unbearable to even listen. She smiled but said nothing, clenching her teeth, having the oddly familiar desire to snap his neck.

"Oy! Stop messing around!" Another voice reached and after it, owner of it came close. Another person, blonde hair, same jacket, only slightly less annoying.

"Come on, we were just talking, not harm in it eh?" First one replied. Her hand clenched cup hard, tips of her fingers turned white from pressure she applied on it and only her clenched teeth kept her from showing the shaking. Bartender coughed and apologized and as Lucy looked his way he offered simple, short, small wave with hand… that very sight made her calm down and her fingers released cup.

"Get a move on! You want praetor to yell at you again?" blonde man asked and took other one by his shoulder. They moved out of the tavern, giving Lucy the moment to let out a sigh, long one.

"Do they even pay?" She asked.

"Never did, never will." Bartender replied, watching Lucy take another long sip of her coffee before leaning slightly forward, just as he made sure that it was clear. Lucy took envelope from her pocket and placed it on counter. With another look around, man took envelope and placed it under counter, nodding toward Lucy.

"That's half of the pay… it is getting less and less with each month." She said with quiet tone "There is no way to somehow lower it?"

"I'm not the one making rules, you know that." He said in equally quiet tone. On his face she could see that he felt sympathy for her situation. "You're to get a message and deliver it here."

"Who is the messenger?" Lucy asked.

"He'll find you. Two days from now, make sure you avoid main streets. Got it?"

"Yeah…" she nodded, reluctantly. Her hand reached into her pocket but bartender slowly raised his right hand, showing his palm.

"It's on the house." He smiled and moved away. Even without saying any words, she was thankful for it, every little bit helped her to pull through every week. Slowly, she finished her coffee and headed out, back to gray, silent streets of once proud and cheerful Magnolia.

It was already dark outside. Every other lamp was working, luminous lacrima shined down upon the streets, making pockets of darkness in-between. In about half hour it will be 21 hours and walking outside would be forbidden. This was a newly made "police" hour that lasted until 6 in the morning, preventing anyone from moving in the streets during the night. Her apartment was not far and she decided to take a slightly longer route, passing by former library. She stopped in front of it; half of it was in ruins, other half barely standing, rubble everywhere and signs of fire present on the walls. Lucy remembers the day it was burnt down… she remembers the day she cried like a child as the Guild set it on fire and stood to prevent anyone from extinguishing it. So much knowledge lost, so many wonderful books, priceless works… gone, disappeared… destroyed as an example. She cried.

Memory of it filled her mind and her already sad eyes looked around. Street was clear, no one in sight and she took this opportunity to walk through the half-destroyed doors, walking toward the main hall. Charred wood everywhere, ash of the innumerable paper was all but gone. Once a place that made her feel happy now was just a monument of a lost battle. She stopped; feeling that under her foot was not a rock nor burnt wood but something softer. Her hand reached and picked the object up… a book, leather covered with only little bit of a burn to the edge. Pages were empty, not a single word inscribed inside. She hit it in her bag and made her way home.

Hastily she closed doors behind her and locked them, leaning back against it. Finally she was home, only place she felt remotely safe in this city. Landlady was… gone… with no one else to claim possession, she was sole owner of this apartment, if there was any luck in this entire misfortune, it was the fact that at least she didn't had to pay her rent… still… she missed landlady dearly.

Twice today she had to feel knot in her stomach and both times removed any desire for food. Right now, she needed a long bath.

It took her good half hour in warm water to forget today's events but at least the comfort and silence of her apartment would be enough to prepare her for tomorrow, to give her strength. Still wrapped in towel around her body, she walked toward the window, opening it wide, hoping that a certain pinkette would be a big brat and come in, raid her fridge and dig through her books and scripts. She wanted that so much right now…

Desk once filled with books, papers and script was now all but empty, void of her once grand dreams of becoming renowned writer. Lucy sat down and pulled out book she took, using her hand to clean its covers from dust. For few moments she observed it and reluctantly she opened first page. Nothing was there, not a word. A sad thing, terrible thing, to be left unused, to never be filled with dreams and sweet words. She took ink and quill and after another long moment she wrote.

If anyone is reading this, if by some chance this book is not burnt and I am no longer alive, pass along our tale, do not let us be forgotten.

For a moment she stopped, pondering on her own words before dipping quill into ink and continuing.

It all started after Grand Magic Games. We won but we didn't even have time to celebrate. No one could have predicted that opening Eclipse Gate would've brought dragons; no one could've seen that Rogue's future self would be here but somehow we all could see how it would end. With help of Yukino from Sabertooth and princess Hisui, we managed to close the gate but it was more than enough for seven dragons to appear and all seven appeared to be under Rogue's control. One of them, bathed in flame who calls himself Atlas Flame, managed to break away from control with help of Natsu, but other six proved to be too great of a challenge for us.

She briefly stopped, taking few short breaths to calm herself. Her letters were now showing signs of shaking, uneven letters and ink-smeared edges became common as she continued writing.

Me from future left us a book and in it we found a way to end this nightmare. If we destroy Eclipse Gate then future would change, Rogue wouldn't have means to return to past and summon army of dragons. We tried to destroy them but one of the dragon, Zirconis, stood in our way. We fought, as hard as we could but it seemed to have made no effect on him. Royal army fell first… he stripped them of their clothes and then simply obliterated them in a single breath. We learned that only dragon slayers have any chance against dragons. That lesson we paid heavily. Laxus and Wendy tried to defeat the Jade Dragon but he avoided their attacks and focused all his attention on Laxus. I saw dragon unleash roar at him… that was last time we saw Laxus. We haven't found his remains but it has been two years now and there is every reason to believe he is gone.

Lucy stopped again, pressing hands against her cheeks and eyes, staying for several minutes quiet and still, collecting her thoughts.

Sting and Rogue from our time fought two dragons, though they survived, we know not where they are. Fairy Tail paid heavy price… Macao, Droy and Wakaba lost their lives that day and more of Fairy Tail members fell in next few weeks. After that night, Crocus was completely in ruins.

At first, we believed that future Rogue was only interested in destroying all of Fiore but soon he calmed down and decided that instead of leaving it in ruins, it would be better to rule it. He crowned himself new Emperor of Fiore and declared every guild that stood against him a public enemy. With six dragons behind him, there was little hope of opposing him. Guilds were left with just two choices, join him or be disbanded. Those who refused were destroyed while those that followed him were soon placed to rule towns and impose their vision of order but in reality he simply wished to prevent any possible chance of people gathering against him. With only two dragon slayers left, we knew our hopes were almost non-existent. Magnolia is now home of Twilight Legion, only guild allowed operating in this city and they are executing their cruel vision of law and order. Life is only seemingly normal but deep inside, fear runs in everyone.

As for Natsu… I do not know what happened to him. All I remember is him falling down on the ground during the fight with Rogue. He was caught in a ball of shadow and next second he was gone, disappeared. That was last time I saw Natsu. Erza keeps saying to accept possibility that he is dead but... I refuse… to this day I still hope he would climb through my window, having his big dump smile and promise that things would be fine again.

If you are reading this, if there is yet a way to go back in time, warn everyone, tell them what you saw, tell them that Project Eclipse is a gateway to destruction and suffering.

Her right hand moved away and left one pressed her eyes tightly. Silent moans filled room as tears fell down on the page. Last words she wrote were partially smeared by the drops that fell.

We are no longer fighting to prove we are strongest… we are fighting to survive…