Lucy couldn't do anything but sit in stunned silence after hearing what Breeze had just said.
"Let's forget about that now. It's been a year. Things have changed and we want you to come back with us, please?" Gray gently placed a finger under Breeze's chin, and tilted her head up, so he could look into her grey eyes. Lucy shot Gray a questioning look, she almost gasped at what he was doing.
Breeze was lost for a moment in Gray's deep coloured orbs. They reminded her so much of home, of the fun times they had together. She knew deep down, as soon as she saw them in the forest, before she was even rescued, that she would go with them.
"Well Breeze, I'll help you pack... In the other room" Loke grinned, helping Breeze off of the couch, which she was capable to do herself, but was flattered by the gesture. Loke lead the girl ahead of himself so he could shoot the two remaining seated daggers.
As soon as they left the main room and entered the bedroom, Lucy slapped Gray on the arm with all the strength she could muster.
"Oww~ What the-?" Gray hissed under his breath as he rubbed his arm tenderly.
"Oh~! Don't 'What the?' me! You lied to her!" Lucy whispered as angrily as she could, though whispering sort of took the aggressiveness out of it. "She still thinks he's dead!"
"So you were going to tell her that he never came to find her? After a whole year? She wasn't exactly hiding! Look at her, she has a domesticated life, a job? How many times have we been to Crocus in the last year and not once did he pick up on anything. " Gray's look become aggravated. The last year had been a roller-coaster of emotions for all of them. But one thing that never failed to anger him, was Natsu.
Lucy was preparing herself to spit back, but Gray had a point. She couldn't imagine that Breeze would want to come back if she knew that Natsu had been alive this whole time.
"Maybe if we bring her back, he can explain his stupid reasoning. God knows only he does." Gray sighed, letting his hands fall into his lap. "It's best she hears it from him"
Lucy opened her mouth to reason, hating the thought of what Breeze would do when she did see him. The fact they knew and weren't telling her, well she couldn't imagine that would go down well. However when the door from the bedroom was pushed open and the sound of Breeze laughing filled the stale air, Lucy narrowed her eyes "Fine" was all she muttered before turning towards the comforting sound and smiling.
"See that wasn't so hard!" Lucy cheered.
Cancer had made a guest appearance to help change Breeze's hair back to a beautiful blonde. Breeze looked at herself in the mirror and couldn't stop a smile from spreading across her lips. "I definitely prefer it" she gently stated. The group had stayed the night at Breeze's apartment, sleeping on any surface that was comfortable enough. Before she fell asleep, Lucy had today planned out to the tee. The end result was having Breeze back in Magnolia for good.
"Pleasure to please, baby" Cancer grinned before disappearing in a bright golden light.
"Thank you!" Breeze called with a smile.
"He loves it" Lucy waved, speaking on Cancer's behalf after the spirit had left. The Celestial mage walked over to Breeze's closet and started throwing clothes onto the bed. The number of summer dresses was almost alarming to the girl "I know you were trying something new but why did you have to buy so many?" Lucy giggled as she finally reached something that wasn't a dress.
"The shop owner suggested it after I told him I was looking for something different" Breeze shrugged, only now realising she was conned into buying so many. "He seemed to know what he was doing..."
"Ah! How about this, this would be perfect for you" Lucy pulled out a combat outfit Breeze bought when she first moved out here, back when she thought her magic would return. It slowly got pushed further and further to the back of her closet as the month passed. In Lucy's hand was a mesh long sleeved shirt, with a blacked outstrip that sat nicely over parts that ought to stay covered. A pair of army green cargo pants, that sat low on her hips but stayed on like champs. Then her trusty black trench coat, scars and all.
Breeze smiled, but it didn't reach her eyes. She wanted her magic back, she wanted to return to Fairy Tail in one piece, not a whole heap of broken ones. But without complaint, she grabbed the outfit Lucy had found and walked to the bathroom to put it on.
"I don't know about this any more guys" Breeze whined as she held on tightly to the door frame. She would miss the little life she had made for herself here, she wouldn't miss it as much as she has missed her old apartment in Magnolia, but it would be missed none the less.
Lucy sighed as she crossed her arms, "We have been through this, it will be okay. The apartment will sell easy, we've already given all of your stuff to Loke, it should be at my place already"
Gray pulled a little harder at Breeze's abdomen, but her grip just tightened around the door frame. "Aren't you guys sick of me yet?! I mean, I literally run away anytime I am faced with conflict, you should really be sending me to a
mental institution. Seriously, I have issues." The two Fairy Tail members paused for a bit, taken back by the truth bomb. It was a self-deprecating statement, meant lightheartedly but the thought 'too soon' came to mind.
"We aren't denying that it's just everyone back home wants to see you first. They all miss you." Gray grunted, pulling again with more effort.
"Gramps will disown me as soon as I get back, and Laxus, oh I don't even want to think about what he'll do to me." Breeze gasped and pulled herself closer to the wall. Despite her lack of magic, she was still quite strong, but they both knew Gray wasn't trying.
"Stop acting like a child, you can do this" Lucy coaxed, ducking under Breeze's arm and trying to pry her fingers from the door.
With a tiny squeal from the former Dragon Slayer, Gray managed to pull her from the apartment, lifting her as if she weighed nothing. "I do have functioning legs, so you may put me down now"
"I can't, you're a flight risk" Gray smirked, but put the girl down anyway.
"Ha. Ha." Breeze laughed sarcastically, tucking a strand of blonde hair behind her ear.
Gray didn't usually smile as much as he was. After what happened back whilst they were looking for Lucifer, after he failed to get there in time... After Breeze left for Crocus... Gray didn't smile much at all.
"NATSU SLOW DOWN!" Gray was pushing his way through the trees, running as fast as he could to keep up with the sprinting Dragon Slayer. Erza was in front of him, with Wendy planted tightly on her shoulders. Gray would have been embarrassed that Erza could run faster than him, with extra weight, but then the simple memory that she was Erza was enough to push the thought down.
Laxus was at his heels, almost running in line with Gray. Natsu was still miles ahead of them, moving inhumanly fast around the twisted trees of the forest.
Gray's mind was too clouded and his legs were moving too fast. He wasn't focusing on his surroundings and his opponent knew it.
The Ice mage's body was still moving and it took him seconds to realise that his feet were no longer touching the ground. A large hand had wrapped itself around his throat, cutting his air supply from the sudden impact. Gray tried to inhale but his chest was rising and falling with no benefit.
The raven haired man, currently being dangled in the air like a slice of meat on a hook, looked down to see his attacker. Strangely he was almost a spitting image of Natsu, he had long spiky orange hair that faded into red tips. He wasn't wearing a shirt, but the number of scars that covered his body acted like one.
Gray clawed at the man's hand as a first instinct, trying desperately to ease the grip and return oxygen to his lungs. Luckily Laxus was a step behind, but he didn't stop running. He used his momentum to tackle the man using his guild-mate as a chandelier.
As soon as Laxus made impact the vice grip was released and Gray dropped to the ground, almost as hard as his attacker. The Ice Mage was disorientated for a moment, only being able to see black and yellow spots, but as soon as his brain began to receive the oxygen his lungs were so desperately trying to produce, he managed to stand.
Gray shook his head, clearing out the unwanted flashbacks. He clenched his fist as he started to become light headed from the memories.
Breeze noticed the blank, bordering on pained, look on Gray's face and decided not to pester him with her childishness. After all, she had no clue what any of them have been through after she left them. Suddenly she felt guilty for her actions child-like behaviour back at the apartment, her hands gripped her arms and she tried to rub away her goosebumps.
"So how do you think we should approach this? Do we just walk through the front door? Or do we isolate Master Makarov and let him tell everyone?" Lucy asked as she caught up to the two, she gave them both a quick glance, silently wondering what the tension in the air was about.
"I think we might as well just go all in, get it over and done with?" Gray snapped out of his mood, even smirking a little towards the end of his sentence.
"Hmm I guess they will all find out eventually" Lucy said more to herself than anyone.
The three walked out of Breeze's apartment building, watched by many eyes that had seen them all before. The Fairy Tail marks on both Lucy and Gray were drawing attention on their own. Earning smiles from some, curses from others. "God I can't wait to get home" Lucy smirked, rolling her shoulders as she pictured her nice warm bath.
It truly was a beautiful city, there was no denying it.
However, for Breeze it was tainted, dark. It would never have the same light in it as she remembered, without the hyperactive Dragon Slayer that would be impossible.
Breeze watched the ground as she took her first step off the train. The familiar cobbled stone ground felt colder under her feet, she didn't remember how unwelcoming this place could feel.
Lucy stepped off the train two steps behind Breeze, her pace was being hurried by all the men and women trying to go to work. Gray was still on the train, stuck behind a man with a black briefcase and a lady with a disruptive child. He rolled his eyes but stayed patient.
"Breeze?" Lucy called, she watched as her friend stood still, directly in the middle of the human traffic. Lucy frowned when the other blonde didn't react to her voice. "Breeze?" She repeated this time Lucy had reached her. The Celestial mage slipped her hands into Breeze's and pulled her eye contact off of the ground.
"Are you okay?" Lucy asked gently.
Breeze almost didn't hear her under all of the people bustling around them, but she nodded and gave Lucy's hands a squeeze.
"Can we please get out of here? This place reminds me of how much I hate people" Gray spat walking past the two, Lucy held Breeze's left hand and didn't miss a beat, following Gray two steps behind.
As they walked out Breeze could help but feel a little lost...
Lucy took a deep breath, "I know this isn't about me, but I am not ready for this" she said as she exhaled. Gray rolled his eyes with a slight smile on his face "You're right, this isn't about you", Lucy retaliated with a dirty look.
"If it makes you feel better, I have had practice at this" Breeze said, looking up to the sign above the giant double doors that read, Fairy Tail.
Despite her previous nerves while leaving her apartment and getting off the train. Breeze stood tall, she took a few steps forward and pushed the doors wide open.
"Well I guess we are doing it then" Gray murmured, half expecting to have to carry the grown woman inside. He picked up the suitcase Breeze had brought with her and took a step back.
Breeze took in a deep breath as she walked into the guild hall, which had surprisingly had not changed within the year she had been gone. She watched as the people that filled the hall, all turn their heads to see who was making such a dramatic entrance. However, her eyes fell and stayed on one old man sitting atop the bar.
Lucy and Gray both watched as whispers and gasps filled the hall of Fairy Tail. Breeze didn't seem to notice, her feet kept moving in the direction of her Grandfather. As she got closer her feet moved faster, she had almost reached him before she was struck and thrown across the room.
"BREEZE" Lucy cried out, watching as she collided with the wall on the other side of the room. More gasps filled the hall, but the sound of everyone's surprise was not as loud as the footsteps that descended down the stairs from the second floor.
"I hope you are not expecting a third chance, Sister." Laxus reached the first floor and proceeded to walk over to Breeze, cracking his knuckles as he did. "If you are, I hope you know it will not come easy" His voice was sinister and enraged, making the hair stand up on the back of everyone's neck.
As Breeze sat up, shaking from the shock of lighting, she wasn't surprised. She had left to fight Lucifer without telling him, she had left Fairy Tail numerous times, without telling him. Laxus was mad that his little sister felt she couldn't trust him. This was his way of dealing with that. "Technically I died the second time.." she muttered under her breath, pulling herself off the ground.
Normally Breeze could handle her older brother's coping mechanisms, but not today, not when she was in a merely human state. Her muscles twitched as the electricity pulsed through her, her body didn't absorb it like it usually would.
"Laxus stop! She can't handle that right now!" Lucy cried out, but Master Makarov tapped her stomach with his cane. "Let them fight it out, it is the least she can do"
"Master you don't understand-" Lucy pleaded.
"Hush child" Master placed both hands on his cane and watched over his two grandchildren in silence.
"Y-You're going to kill me" Breeze said her voice free from fear, she held onto her shaking body.
Laxus raised an eyebrow at his sister, she should be standing up right now, and there is no way he put enough effort into his first attack to do any damage. "Maybe if you die for good, we won't have to worry about you abandoning us again" he regretted the words as they left his mouth. Some shocked gasps came from the members of Fairy Tail.
Those words cut deep, especially coming from Laxus. "I'm sorry, I truly am"
"So am I" Laxus raised his hand, charging it with bolts of golden electricity. Breeze shut her eyes, waiting for the impact but when it didn't hit, she hesitantly opened her eyes.
Master Makarov was standing directly in front of her, Laxus had lost his lighting and was standing with a stern face and his hands in his pockets.
Breeze looked up at everyone with wide eyes, letting out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding in. "The fact you thought I was going to kill you, offends me a little" Laxus states.
"As soon as you walked in my dear I could tell you had lost your magic, normally I can sense your power from a mile away. Is that why you left us?" Makarov took her silence as a 'yes'. The room filled with chatter again, Makarov looked around the room and to stop their gossiping he used the oldest trick in the Fairy Tail book. "LET'S CELEBRATE THE RETURN OF A CHILD!" The guild hall erupted with cheer, Lucy and Gray looked around, they both couldn't help the small smiles that sprung up on their faces.
Laxus held out a hand to Breeze "Let's see if we can put the pieces back together eh?"
Breeze couldn't help the tears that filled her eyes as she beamed at her older brother.
Until next time xx