And I Darken

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~Lucy's POV~

"Lucy!" Laxus calls, running up to me. I was deep in thought at the time. Do bees have knees? If you expect the unexpected, does the unexpected become expected?

"Yeah...?" I murmur absent-mindedly. 

"Um...where's your shirt?" He asks. I look down and cuss. I knew I forgot something!

"It got ripped to shreds..."I say sheepishly. He smirks in mirth.

"You always seem to lose your clothes in battle," He says chuckling. I grumble to myself.

"It's not on purpose..."I grumble. 

"Sure it isn't."

"Do you want to die?" I question, my tone as sharp as a knife. He guffawed. 

"As if you could touch me, princess," He says, messing up my hair. I wrinkle my nose at the demeaning nickname. 

"Don't call me princess, Sparky," I bark out, smacking his hand away from me.

"Well, you can't walk around without a shirt..." Laxus chides me. He removed his fur jacket and wraps it around my shoulders. I smile at him, but then it started to get hot.

"Laxus~! It's so hot with this," I whine, tugging at the jacket. His eyes settle on the scarf wrapped around my neck. 

"If you're wearing the dumbass's scarf, you're wearing my jacket. You got that?" He responds, giving me a glare.

"Fine, fine," I say, waving it off. 

"So how did your battle go? You won right?" Laxus guessed. Happy swiftly landed on my shoulder, giving Laxus a cheeky grin.

"No, she lost. It was really funny. Lisanna tore up her shirt, then Lucy just went ballistic. She was a monster!" Happy teases. I flush red.

"I am not a monster!" I protest. God, someday, I swear I'm going to murder that cat...

"You lost!" Laxus exclaims with shock.

"No, she let me win..." Natsu piped up. I watched as Natsu, Gray, and Erza cautiously approached us.

"She was so should have seen her magic, Erza, Gray!" Natsu beamed. I blushed from his praise. Does he really think I'm strong?

"Really? Did you improve your celestial magic, Lucy?" Erza asks. 

"Yeah, she did! And she learned a new magic!" Natsu answers for me. I started to shift nervously. I could see Levy, Gajeel, Lisanna, Juvia, Cana, Mira, Wendy, Charla, Elfman, Evergreen, Bickslow, and Freed approaching us.

"What new magic did she learn, flame brain?" Gray asked curiously. Natsu's eyes lit up.

"What did you call me, Elsa?" Natsu quips out. Erza twitches with anger.

"What is Lucy's new magic?" Erza barks out coldly. I stare at my feet. Why are they asking Natsu? I'm literally, right here. Am I invisible?

"She's a dragon slayer! A water dragon slayer! And she has a katana! She would've beat me too..." Natsu admits his gaze traveling to me.

"A DRAGON SLAYER?!!" Everyone exclaims. 

I sweatdrop when everyone finally notices me. They crowd around me like flies to honey. I sigh in annoyance. This was going to be a looonnnggg day.

~Timeskip, Normal POV~

Lucy watched as everyone ran off, hoping to locate Master Mavis's grave. She laughed to herself when she spotted Natsu almost trip. A smile tugged at Erza's mouth.

"Hey, Erza, Mira!" Lucy called out suddenly, startling the two mentioned females.

"Yes?" Mira asked sweetly.

"Do you think after the S-class trials are done, you two can train me?" Lucy questioned, blinking at Mira's blinding grin.

"We would love to. But, why?" Erza inquired. Lucy smiled sadly. 

"Even though I'm a lot stronger than I once was, I want to get stronger. I was hoping that you could teach me some Requip and that Mira could teach me some Takeover...if it isn't too much of a bother..." Lucy explained shyly. Erza nodded in approval.

"I'm really proud of you Lucy," Erza proclaimed, a proud smile gleaming on her face. Erza internally was feeling really guilty. She hated herself for how she treated Lucy. Who treats their best friend like that? 

"Thanks, Erza. And thank you both for being willing to teach me. I really appreciate it!" Lucy cheered, her eyes darting to Happy behind the two, who was slow dancing with a fish. He was singing secret lover and tears were dripping down his face. She tried to ignore his...intersting display.

"Lucy...we would do anything to make you happy. You're one of our best friends," Mira said softly. A distant look crossed Lucy's features.

"I'm sorry Mira, but who are you kidding? When you all ignored me, I wasn't happy," Lucy said, her bangs covering her eyes.

'What a load of bullshit!' Lucy thought to herself.

"Lucy..." Erza whispered, dejectedly. 

"Sorry...sometimes it's hard to forgive and forget," Lucy confessed, throwing them a pained smile. Mira pulled Lucy into a warm embrace.

"Lucy, I'll always be there for you. I know what we did is inexcusable. We hurt you so much, and I'm really sorry," Mira soothed. Erza joined the hug, resulting in a snot-nosed, blubbering Lucy.

"Thank you...I love you guys so much..." Lucy said softly, her sobs now small sniffles. She was gripping them like a lifeline. Lucy was in an internal struggle. She was full of hate, anger, and sadness. She resented them for what they did, but at the same time, she understood. It's easy to say you forgive someone, but actually, it's really hard to let someone back into your life after they've hurt you. Lucy smiled up at them and realized something. Holding a grudge wouldn't make her any less angry, and seeing her friends in pain wouldn't make her any happier. And isolating herself from the people she loved would only make her more lonely. She made the right decision to forgive them. By granting them forgiveness for their mistakes, she was the bigger person. She didn't let hate control her life. She felt determination flow through her veins. Right when she got home, she was going on a mission. With Team Natsu.

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