"It's down to me and you,
In this cold and empty room-
Forgotten what we're dying for.
Just tell me what to change.
Just tell me what to say,
'Cause I can't feel it anymore."
"Ah… Might you be Jude-san's daughter?" the receptionist at the merchant guild, Love & Lucky, questioned almost warily, her expression dropping slightly at the sight of the young blonde woman in front of her. But why was Lucy here in the first place? It was decided, by herself, that after being gone for 7 long years, she would visit her father at the guild in Acalypha Town. Though nobody besides the receptionist would expect the news that was to come.
"Yes! I am." Lucy nodded eagerly, adding an innocent half-smile to the end of her sentence. And this very action made the receptionist's stomach churn and turn. Because, only she knew that the youngster's smile would soon fade.
The receptionist glanced down at her own hands nervously and she could already feel herself become edgy with each passing second as she fiddled with the jewellery around her fingers. How could she put this into words? This situation… there were no words in the world that could be put together where the outcome wouldn't be so heartbreaking.
"What's wrong?" a stern, yet curious voice sounded from behind Lucy. And not surprisingly enough, it was Natsu, who had decided that he and Happy would tag along with Lucy.
"Has he quit already?" Happy added with a worried look.
"Is he not here?" now Lucy was getting agitated. The woman was not talking much and the same distraught expression hadn't left her face since the first couple of words that had come out of her mouth. And as soon as the woman started her sentence with a simple "Um…", Lucy knew for sure that something was not entirely right.
"It pains me… to have to tell you this…" and with these exact words, Lucy's eyes widened a notch and she could feel her heart beating fast inside her chest - in fact, she could even hear it. Each rapid and malevolent thump it made.
"Jude-san passed away one month ago."
And now, she could hear everything. From her own shallow breathing to the small mutters of the people around her; she could even hear the rustling and the whispers of the wind outside of the building. Each second that ticked by felt like a hundred years; and it was as if time had slowed itself down just to spite her.
"I'm truly sorry for your loss." were the last words Lucy heard from the receptionist before she swiftly and promptly turned around, walked out of the guild slowly and didn't even bother to check if Natsu and Happy were trailing behind her.
Her father… dead? She didn't even put in effort to ask how he died - after all, she was too frightened - no, more like horrified - to be able to comprehend what had just occurred. But she knew she had to play it cool, for she was always the type to do so. She didn't like showing her weaknesses… 'but how long will I be able to keep it going this time?' she thought to herself.
And there she stood, in front of his gravestone as the thought to herself, "Shouldn't I have been dreading this moment? Shouldn't I have refused to come?"
As she peered down, holding the flowers she knew he liked, close to her heart, she read;
X746 - X791
Rest in peace
'This is what seven blank years… did to us.' her thoughts told her.
But was Jude Heartfilia truly, resting in peace?
Did he even know or hear of what happened to Fairy Tail some seven years ago?
'And this,' she thought again, 'this is where I'd go home and write to you mother. But since you're already here, I guess I can tell you now.' Lucy peered down at the gravestone next to her father's. On top of it, lay an identical bouquet of flowers that she'd bought for this occasion. Those flowers were for Layla Heartfilia.
Lucy looked at both indistinguishable gravestones with a somewhat impassive expression painted across her features.
"I don't understand…" she began, her voice unwavering, "I'm sad… and lonely. Yet the tears won't come."
With the rather harsh and quite cold breeze ruffling up her hair and running through her clothes, she asked herself why today had to be so windy. Maybe the weather just wanted to spite her as well. "After what happened in Acalypha with you, father, I had a feeling our relationship could change…" she paused just as the wind ceased for a bit as well, "I guess I really didn't have feelings for-"
"That's not true." a warm hand had rested on top of her shoulder and the voice that accompanied it was comforting, consoling, - it was Natsu's.
At times like this, she knew that he would say the right things. She knew he would tell her that everything was going to be alright. Because when it came to him, everything indeed was, alright.
"I don't think it's about whether you cry or not, Lucy…"
Yet she knew that this was all he was going to say. There was nothing more he could say, so she turned around to face him and said simply,
"Yeah, thank you."
Because with them, it was always the little things that mattered.
"Sorry for making you fuss over me…" Lucy gave both Natsu and Happy an apologetic smile - though it was a smile that they all knew was fake. That's how she was… that's how she got herself out of these situations. That was just… Lucy.
"It's strange but… I really am fine."
And as the sun was setting, the wind ran through her hair once more as she gave the two gravestones one last look.
This was truly goodbye. She was alone, and she knew it.
As night fell, Lucy somehow ended up back in her apartment, sitting on top of her bed. The bed that she hadn't slept in for seven long years.
And that day she endured was a long one. Recalling somewhere along the way back home with Natsu and Happy, they had passed two boisterous woman complaining about their fathers. One of them even muttered something along the lines of 'why can't he just die yet?'
But what would they know? Lucy just let their annoying comments slide with a slight bite of her lip to stop her from lashing out, and hoped that maybe someday they would learn the hard way.
But Natsu and Happy had other ideas. They called out the two women, telling them off for being ungrateful. And that's when Lucy had to repeat herself to them.
'Sorry for making you fuss over me.'
It was Lucy's landlady that allowed her to step back into her room and for that, Lucy was thankful. But she questioned why would she do such a thing?
It was when her landlady informed her that a letter had come that day, filled with seven years worth of rent - it was then that Lucy realised, how much of a doting parent her father really was.
It was when Lucy scanned over the gifts her father had left her for each birthday that she was away for and never got to celebrate, and it was when she had read over the letter that her father had handwritten, countless times - it was then again, when she realised that he really did love her. And she loved him.
He had made terrible mistakes in the past, put her through so much stress, and yet she found it in her heart to forgive him.
'Lucy, I always have and always will love you.'
That was the one line that should could clearly hear her father saying in her thoughts. And she kept replaying it in her head.
And she kept telling herself as well, that she loved him too. That she was sorry.
That she would live a happy life for both of their sake's.
And that's when the tears came. All the emotions she held back were finally flowing out of her - and it was as if she'd never cried in her life before.
It was as if everything she had to fake her way through in the past, was coming back to slap her in the face.
And as she sat on her bed, in her dark room, she realised again that she really was alone.
As her body shook with each sob and as she cried continuously, tears running rapidly down her cheeks, she felt a pair of strong and muscular arms slide themselves around her waist from behind. Someone was pulling her closer to them and she had a pretty clear idea of who. With her back against a familiar chest, it was the body warmth that gave it away… because who else would be as warm as the sun itself, other than Natsu?
"Shh, it's alright." he repeated softly in her ear.
He knew that right now, she just needed someone to hold her and to be there for her. Not to tell her what's right from wrong.
And as she cried some more and repeated to herself that she was indeed, not okay, he whispered softly against her dampened cheek,
"You will never be alone, Lucy." because after all, he wouldn't leave her side. He owed her just that.
They were best friends from the get-go and they were in this together.
Lucy leaned back against Natsu a little more and raised her hand slightly to wipe away the tears that had streaked down her face. Putting her hands back down into her lap, Natsu also reached out to cup his own over hers. As he threaded his fingers through hers, he could feel the coldness of them - even through his own burning body warmth.
They were still sitting on her bed - but she had to admit, it was a lot more comfortable than it probably looked. Both of Natsu's legs were planted on each side of her body, and his face was buried in the crook of her neck.
"Hey Natsu…" Lucy muttered, her voice cracking a little.
Though, she didn't really need an answer back from him, so she continued,
"Thank you." was the last thing she said.
And she knew not to wait for his reply, because there was nothing more to say.
Because with them, it really was, the little things that mattered.
Inspiration/s - I was watching episode 124 and then the idea just came to me.
Also, the song 'Dust & Gold' by Arrow to Athens just reminded me of NaLu and it kinda fit in with the story so yeah. I added some of the lyrics at the beginning.
Notes - If you've watched episode 124, then you might've noticed that I changed a couple of things around. Don't fret. I only did that so the story made more sense to me and hopefully to you. But honestly, this was initially meant to be a full on Natsu x Lucy drabble though I kinda got lost in writing Lucy's emotions and bleh, big mess right there. Maybe I'll make a part 2 where I actually get those two together. Hmm. Anyway, I hope you liked it! It was kinda fun for my first real drabble or whatever you'd like to call it.