Chapter 12

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(A new chapter...finally...haha.)

What have I gotten myself into?

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Taking a much needed breath, I pace up and down an aisle that consists of odd paranormal romance books, aka the 'accidentally published fanfiction' section. (A/N: If you get that reference...I love you.) My heart is beating at an uncomfortable rate, and the pace that my thoughts are flying every which way isn't helping. I try to stabilize my mind by pacing in a precise, uniform manner, but I find myself brushing my hand along my leg to rid it of perspiration.

Rogue observes from a few feet away from my 'pacing zone' with a careful eye, never looking directly at me. After a few moments of my ritualistic pacing, he gives his head a little shake, as if steeling himself.

"Please calm down, (Y/N). I apologize for my actions before...I really don't know what came over me. Please forgive me." Rogue apologizes, sincerity oozing from his voice. His eyes slowly retreat to the ground.

"I-it's fine...that's not why I dragged you over here." I reply, abruptly pausing from my consistent strides and lightly chuckling. The last thing my mind is on is his apology; I barely registered his words. My back is turned towards Rogue, which I prefer, as these are the last few moments I have before all of my perspectives and emotions are revealed.

I hear a slight intake of breath from Rogue, which I'm interpreting as his version of a gasp.

"Yes...sorry. It appears that I forgot for a moment." He replies in remembrance. "Do not be afraid to tell me anything, and I hope the fact that we're newly acquainted isn't a hindrance of any kind."

I feel my lips curl into a slight smile, and I take one last reassuring breath before I turn around to face him.

"As you know, I am a former Fairy. You also know that many of the members from Fairy Tail disappeared on Tenroujima Island seven years ago- members such as Natsu Dragneel, Gajeel Redfox, Mirajane Strauss, Erza Scarlet, Master Makarov, and many, many more. In a result of their disappearance, the guild started to fall apart. Remaining members started to visit the guild less often, which included me, and my guild started to get into trouble with other guilds. At the time of my leave, I was 14, and very mentally unstable. I was very depressed, and I'm sorry to say that my faith in them returning decreased with every passing year."

I pause for a moment, close my eyes, and mentally prepare myself to delve deep into my past emotions and to reminisce on my dark thoughts from before.

(A/N: Trigger warning: this next part mentions suicidal thoughts.)

And I open them, accepting the challenge I laid before myself openly.

"Back then, before I knew how to deal with stress, before I understood how to overcome obstacles...I considered taking my life on several occasions. Often times, I would dream that I was standing on Tenroujima Island, alone, my only solace the precipitation that had an odd metallic scent and a distinct red color. The blood of my comrades...the blood of my family."

My voice starts to shake a little, but I continue nevertheless.

"I would stare longingly at the knives on my nightstand that I had kept for protection, I would often linger at my balcony, I would sink down in the water during my baths for increasing amounts of time, and every time I did one of these actions, the urge to take my life got stronger and stronger. I would visit the guild, but for short periods of time. I avoided jobs at all costs, and my erratic behavior started to worry my guild mates."

I pause again, clench my fist in an attempt to eliminate any remaining nervousness, and blink calmly.

"I remember one particular night all too clearly. I was handling my knife without care, casually tossing it from hand to hand, contemplating whether or not I wanted to actually be through with my life. The knife had a serrated edge, and it caught of my skin on my last pass. I had quickly dropped the knife out of complete and utter panic, but thankfully the small mishap resulted in minimal bleeding. But the significance of my mistreatment of the weapon triggered memories from before they were gone: memories of comical adventures and a bustling guild that had perfect harmony. And...I started to wonder what would happen if they came back to...to find that I had committed suicide. They would feel beyond guilty, no doubt, they would feel responsible for my death."

(A/N: Trigger warning over.)

"And that was the day...the day I decided to leave."

Confusion crosses Rogue's face, but he doesn't interrupt.

"I finally realized that to be happy, I had to move on. I couldn't thrive in an environment that reminded me of their disappearance at every waking moment- no, I knew that I had to isolate myself from that environment. The hope that resided within me would help me persevere, and I knew that I could handle joining a different guild. And that is exactly what I did."

Something starts to tug at the corners of my lips, lifting my mouth into a soft, serene smile.

"I never let go of my guild, my guild mates, the ones who lightened my heart, my family. I promised myself that I would, and will, never let go of my family. They will always have a special place in my heart. To achieve my happiness, I had to leave my guild, but deep down, I know they will always be waiting for me.

About a year after I left, I realized something. Something that I didn't realize before...

I would always be waiting for my guild mates to return. I would never lose all hope, I would never give up.

And my guild would always be waiting: for me, and my guild mates.

Even though we may have been separated by distance, and perhaps time too...

Nobody ever truly left each others hearts."

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A/N: So that's the full explanation :)

I hope you enjoyed the chapter, and I'll be expecting to update plenty this week because I'm on spring break!

With love,

~Ari

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