A/N- okay guys, this is my absolute FIRST fanfic ever, so… yeah I'm sorry if there are any major no-no's in terms of characterization here… I don't see any(?) and there's only two people anyway… so yeah thanks for choosing this story! ^^ and sorry, but the first chapter really lays out all that's needed to know for later so… not very action here… that's gonna change. Promise. =p

p.s. (if there really can be a p.s. in an A/N…) when I say lunch box later on, I was really thinking of a bento box, but I thought saying that would just fail so… anyway, you'll understand when you get there. =p

Chapter 1

Lucy had been dragging Natsu away from the fight raging between Gildarts and Bluenote when suddenly the ground started shaking violently and then came rushing toward her and brutally smacked her in the face. Ugh! It hurt. Bad. Looking around, it seemed everyone else also had a disagreement with the ground as they all lay down with the same expressions of… weakness. Even as she lay there, Lucy could feel her little remaining power being drained… by something. Everyone was losing power. At least, everyone from Fairy Tail. Chances were, so was Gildarts.

What was going on? How could such strong people suddenly have their magic drained? If it continued like this, they'd never stop the enemy! Even Natsu couldn't move, he felt so weak. What could she do, what hope was there? With all her power leavin-

Of course. There was only one way. Lying on the cold, wet, muddy ground, Lucy remembered her old Master Belo's words.

*flashback*

In 774, when Lucy was only seven...

Her Master Belo was teacher her the fundamentals of being a celestial (or stellar) spirit mage in the Heartfillia gardens.

"Now Lucy," said the old, shaking stellar spirit Mater in his gravelly voice "You must remember, that all stellar spirit mages are bonded to their spirits first and foremost with special bonds of love and trust. But, to summon them, we need to also give them something else- our power."

"Mages often fall due to not having enough power to finish or win the struggle, or over exerting themselves and using more magic than they have available. Let me tell you a secret." Lucy came closer as the old man whispered in her ear: "I have found a way to get around that problem."

"Really?" The young Lucy looked at her magic teacher in wonder.

"Really. But, this technique requires a lot of training… are you ready, milady?" Lucy's Belo asked with a thin smile.

"Yes, yes! I'm ready to be the greatest mage in the world!" Lucy jumped up and down with barely contained excitement.

Her master chuckled. "Okay Lucy, listen carefully. This is a technique I have found out, and told no one. Whether others found out themselves, I know not. But you will be the only person to learn this directly or indirectly from me, until you then teach someone else in years to come." Belo smiled at the thought, and then continued his lecture as his student sat on the grass and listened in wonder. "Magic is inside almost all people, even those who don't use it. It's almost like a life force that keeps us alive. Mages are the people who have extra magic, and can use it, and feel it around them. They use spells to take this extra life force, and have it manifest around them. As I said, magic is our life force. We need some of it to keep us alive, or else we'd keel over. When people 'use up' their magic they really only used up the extra. If they try to push harder and use more, they start to eat up the magic that keeps them alive. This is very dangerous, because if they use enough of that magic, they will indeed die." The master gave Lucy a grave look as he assessed her understanding of what he had said. It seemed she did, so he pressed on.

"So-"

"Grandpa Belo?"

"Yes, Lucy?"

"Why don't people use up even their life-magic when casting big spells?"

Master Belo smiled at his pupil's nickname for magic. "The reason they don't use up their 'life magic' as you put it, is because it's actually somewhere else." Seeing Lucy's confused look, he pressed on. "You could say that our bodies are containers for our magic. Think of our bodies as a lunch box. Our extra magic is in the biggest compartment, and our 'life-magic' is in one of the upper smaller compartments. When people reach their limits and then try to 'push' to use more magic, they're breaking the small barrier between those compartments and using their life-magic."

"Oohhh, okay I understand. You can go on Belo." Lucy smiled as she changed her position to continue to listen to master Belo's 'story.'

"Thank you, milady. Like I said, there is a way to keep yourself from using your life-magic when you run out of your extra. But this way is very tricky, and you need to know what you're doing. What if I said you could take your extra magic, and little by little store a bit in the life-magic compartment every day to use later?"

"I would ask you why no one else thought of that."

"Well Lucy, I don't really know that, but my best guess is they were all too busy looking for new spells when they should have been trying to examine and understand the magic inside them first." Belo smiled. "Anyway, like I said, this is tricky. While life-magic and the extra magic do feel a little different, if you're not careful when using the magic you store, you can also suck up your life-magic. And we know what happens when you do that…"

"You die." Lucy said matter-of-factly with the most innocent expression on her face.

"Ahem, yes, and thus it's very dangerous." Belo had begun to wonder if Lucy knew what death was, that she could talk about it so calmly.

"Grandpa Belo?"

"Yes, Lucy?"

"Why can't we take all our extra magic and just put it with our life-magic?"

"Well, first of all, people could forget they put the two in the same compartment and use all the magic in their body. It also takes a great effort to use the magic in the life-magic compartment, though putting magic there is a little easier. Plus, if you put too much magic in your life-magic compartment at one time, it will hurt a lot." Belo smiled at his casual use of Lucy's new magical term. "So. We're going to start today teaching you how to tell whether you're feeling your life-magic, or your extra, and then you're going to learn to store your extra for later. We'll save learning how to use the stored magic for when you're older. Ready?"

"Yes!"

*flashback END*

Lucy smiled weakly. Even though it was a long time ago, Grandpa Belo's teachings still save her life every time. She closed her eyes as she searched inside her for her undrained compartment…

A/N- So yeah, that was the first chapter. So now comes the typical author call for REVIEW! I must know the good, the bad, and the UGLY. A fool is he any author that does not acknowledge his criticism. I need as much of it as I could get. ^^