When the world ends, it ends twice.
Lucy sees it end in fire, hot and choking, swallowing her universe whole.
She thinks she'd have preferred it to end in ice, because freezing to death is like falling asleep but fire, fire burns.
The sky is all black clouds, painted with angry streaks of red, like burning blood and Lucy cannot breathe, her lungs coated with his malice inflamed.
He stands, a King of the Demon hordes, not at all the boy she knew, loved. She screams, cries, calls for him but it all falls on deaf ears. He swats her aside like a fly, like an ant, useless, pathetic. Her heart crumbles and there is no One Magic, no salvation in love.
She fights, gives her all, her everything but still she cannot win, cannot drag him back. Darkness comes, devours him, leaves nothing of Natsu Dragneel behind.
He is gone, is nothing but END.
Lucy crawls through the wreckage of the guild hall, of her home.
She gathers Happy in her arms, holds the very first casualty against her chest, charred blue fur and empty empty eyes.
Natsu? Natsu, can you hear me? Please Natsu, can you hear me?
No, he can't.
Gajeel is steel and iron, strong and hard but even metal burns, boils and bubbles.
He tries, God does he try, roars and howls, Salamander bellowed louder than the crackling of fallen buildings. His answer is laughter, a taunt, a fire so hot it turns Black Steel Gajeel into liquid, a dark pool of almost.
Lucy watches him drip, drip drip drop until he's gone, nothing but melted dreams and Levy's tears disappear in smoke, can't be heard over laughter, sick and twisted.
Lucy has no magic power left, can barely keep herself from keeling over.
Maybe it'd be better if she did.
Levy burns away, so fast, so quick Lucy could have imagined it.
Except she didn't.
Lisanna has seen evil consume her loved ones before and just like last time, she is tossed away, dies at the hands of her family, by hands she trusted and loved.
Hearts shatter again, siblings watching her fall and this is so cruel, makes every other evil Lucy has ever witnessed seem kind in comparison.
There is a screech, a sound of dying love and Mirajane and Elfman charge ahead, demons and beasts, fight with ferocity and fear.
But hell burns too hot for them, turns devils and demons to ashes.
(but at least they're all together again)
Laxus glows, shines, lights up their fever red night.
This is his home, his family and he will fight for them, will avenge them.
Lucy hugs Happy close, entranced as Laxus explodes, sends lightning and death in every direction. Yes, Lucy begins to think, yes but of course, the answer is no, is always no.
Because lightning is hot and fire cannot fight fire, can't do anything but feed it.
The heat of his attacks melds into the flames glowing on all sides until he is drained and spent, until they swallow him whole.
This fire is always hungry.
Wendy, sweet, young Wendy.
The tears dry on her face as they fall, leave trails of smoke on her cheeks. The skies, even choking black, obey her and she is a Goddess, is so young but so brave.
She makes evil falter, gives them pause and for a second, Lucy hasn't entirely given up. She struggles to her feet, finds her own second wind, is ready to help.
But then, Lucy should have remembered, wind only fans the flames, makes them grow taller and even a Goddess can't fly high enough to escape, gets devoured as fire pulls her back down to earth.
The ground she lands on is hot and cracked, split apart, just like Wendy, sweet, brave little Wendy.
(but even with horns, scales, his breath of flames, he is no dragon)
(he is rage, death, destruction)
Erza is a warrior, is a queen.
She is magnificent, blazes through defeat with a fierceness that makes Lucy believe in maybe. Hope struggles to breathe in her chest, choked in dry heat but Erza does not bend, will not break. She is Titania, Queen of the Fairies, their champion, their hero.
Her sword flashes, her eyes gleam and evil wavers just a bit, for one, glorious, perfect moment.
But then Erza, unstoppable Erza falls, because even an Empress of Flame cannot fight these fires, cannot survive this inferno.
Sparks rain down from the sky and Erza burns, just like the world, just like everyone else.
And then light.
Jellal is a shooting star, a bright moment of triumph in a sea of endless loss.
Heavenly body magic Lucy thinks and maybe that's why he stands so tall, because only heaven can fight back the might of hell.
(or maybe it's the hellfire in his eyes, the taste of sin breathing in his bones)
He fights, fights with beauty and grace, with vicious violent retribution. He looks like an Angel, a messenger of a vengeful God, strikes down the devils with a wrath so divine it nearly leaves her blind. Stars dance and meteors fall from the sky and for a moment, Lucy believes they may have won.
But evil never sleeps, never dies and just like a shooting star, Jellal burns out, leaves nothing but a memory of brilliance in his wake.
Juvia is water, is cool refreshing life, fire's greatest enemy.
A tsunami rises behind her, towers over the ashes of Magnolia and even the clouds open up, blessed rain spilling from his burning sky.
This is the Rain Woman, a force of nature, so formidable, so utterly devastating.
There is a great sizzling in the air as his fire turns to steam, as Juvia's rain quenches his flames, begins to douse his hatred. Lucy feels the water on her skin, feels alive again for the briefest second, sees their chance.
But he snatches it away, just like he always does.
He comes for Juvia personally, coated in flames and fury and she is made of water, his weakness and hers.
She vanishes in a cloud of steam, wisps blowing in the wind and Lucy watches her fizzle away, back up to the clouds.
Lucy screams, screams her voice raw but no one hears, because no one is left.
(except Gray, but he is screaming himself, cannot hear Lucy over his own broken heart)
The world ends in fire, on a night with a red sky and Fairy Tail falls.
Dead and gone.
And then it ends again.
Lucy sees it end in ice, cold and heartless, swallowing her universe whole.
She thinks maybe she preferred the flames, because at least then she knew she was still alive, at least the pain was real.
Now she is numb, cold, frozen inside and out.
Natsu is the sun, too hot, too bright, kills and destroys with his brilliance.
But even stars die and this is his supernova.
Gray's ice is cold, cold enough and he slays a devil tonight, coats a burning world in frost and snow.
Lucy watches Natsu die, imagines she sees him again, the real him in those eyes as they dim, and oh, maybe she isn't so numb after all.
Gray falls to his knees, a broken, empty hero, because he saved the world.
Except there's no world left.
Lucy would cry but her tears have all dried up, her heart shrivelled and alone.
She feels hollowed out, lies down in ashes and snow and dust.
it's all over