The creak of the gate alerted her to their presence. Her hands tightened around the roots of the flowers she was planting before a conscious effort relaxed them. She was nervous. After what she'd done… she was surprised they had come. She didn't know what to say.

Months of therapy, inpatient to out, and she finally felt grounded. Not only to this world, but to herself. She could walk herself through her inner workings and understand what had gone so horribly wrong without falling back into that trap of darkness and mania. If the jealousy and fear and uncertainty visited her again, she had learned to handle it swiftly and harshly, to package it up neatly and then dissect it during her next session, to destroy it completely. Hopefully, with time, the urging of madness would leave her completely. It had already faded so much, and she had vowed to keep working. Fairy Tail did not give up, and it was that mantra that made the whole process of recovery that much easier.

But today she faced the hardest part. She had been deemed not to be a danger to her guild weeks ago, whatever the situation, but how did she convey that? Even scarier 一how did she apologize? She'd seen most of her guildmates by now and they'd welcomed her back with an easy camaraderie. But that would not work for this. Most people in the guild had been on the sideline. But not her visitors today. They had been her protagonist and antagonist, her angel and demon. Now she recognized that they were just people, but wasn't that even scarier? Things weren't black and white anymore, and she had had to learn to navigate a world of grays. How would they react? Still holding the flower, she turned.

Natsu's bright grin welcomed her, but her gaze darted to Lucy. Her once 'enemy' smiled softly at her. In her eyes was understanding… and forgiveness. The sight made Lisanna feel almost lightheaded with relief, and she dropped the flower, stumbling forward to pull the blonde into a hug, nearly crying as she babbled out apologies and explanations.

Lucy returned the embrace, rubbing Lisanna's shoulder and letting her cry herself out. The takeover mage felt a couple awkward pats on her head from Natsu, undoubtedly horrified by her tears and equally unsure what to do about them. After a few minutes she regained control and pulled back, wiping her eyes. Lucy handed her a tissue, murmuring words of reassurance. Natsu swooped in for a hug, too, now that the terror of crying women had receded.

Lisanna picked up her dropped flower, wincing slightly at the crushed petals and a bruised stem. But it would be alright. She'd plant it and water it and face it toward the sun, and her flower would pull through just fine. She grabbed a new pot and directed Natsu to carry the heavy bag of potting soil. Together, the three of them planted the rest of her flowers and helped her clean up. She offered them lemonade and they chatted idly over the cool drink.

When they left, they did so holding hands. Lisanna watched them go, and felt a brush of jealousy as Natsu flung an arm over Lucy's shoulders and pulled her in close. But that was all… a bare hint of envy, and she knew it would fade with time. Lisanna sat on the stoop and pulled the pot with the battered flower to her, rested one hand gently on the lip of the urn as she turned her face up towards the warm sun.

She was home.

Hi everyone! I apologize for the stupid long wait, especially when this is so my defense, I'm getting married on Friday! It's been hectic!

Thank you as always to my wonderful beta, Lady Lutka. And thank you to all of you who read and reviewed! You're the real MVPs!

See you all next time!