A/N: Why hello everyone! Yes, I know it's been about a week since I last updated...I am so sorry. I have had a heck of a long week. I lost my friends, and am now sorta drifting. Sooooo...Welp, I'll get on with the story! I love you all, and I hope you enjoy!~ <3 (:
"Hey, Luce! Do you want to come with us on a mission?" Natsu asked cheerfully, his usual toothy grin plastered on his tan face. He waved a fraying piece of parchment in front of her impassive face, hoping his bliss-filled smile would make a dent in her quiet demeanor. He hated the way she had been closing herself off from other people. He was determined to crack her cold and stoic behavior. She couldn't act like this forever. She would have to get over Laxus eventually.
"I'll pass," She replied monotonously, her features inexpressive and poker-faced. She moved away from the individuals, quickly advancing towards a worn wood table in the far back of the guild hall, isolated from everyone else.
Natsu watched glumly as Lucy laid her head in arms, her extensive hair flowing down her shoulders, and over her sweat-shirt clad arms. Erza sighed sadly from beside him, and Gray merely frowned dejectedly. They had tried numerous times, but she just didn't seem interested in going on a mission with anyone but Laxus.
"When is she going to stop acting so immature?" Natsu asked quietly, causing Erza to glance at him wearily, her burnt-sienna colored eyes narrowing.
"Natus, the person she fell in love with left her, with no signs of coming back. It's already been two and a half months...give her a break..." Erza chided, her scarlet hair sliding in front of her eyes. She absent-mindedly flicked it away, her eyes still focused primarily on the dejected form of Lucy.
"But, doesn't she know what she's doing is hurting other people?!" Natsu bellowed sharply, his outburst catching a good number of guild member's attention. Including the water dragon slayer.
"We lost Laxus! We don't need to lose her too! She can't wallow in self-pity forever! For all we know, Laxus is never coming back!" Natsu continued, breathing deeply. He calmed himself down, before adding something in a soft, quiet tone. " I...I can't stand seeing her all depressed, Erza! It's....heartbreaking..."
"Natsu..." Gray started, finally speaking up. He stared at Natsu and lacked his usual mischievousness and playfulness. His voice was serious and somber.
"Don't call Lucy immature...has it ever occurred to you, that she may not want to be on a team with us after...after what we did..." Gray bit his lip, his wild mane of raven locks shifting so his bangs covered his downcast eyes.
"She said she forgave us, Gray! It's been almost nine years including the time skip!" Natsu argued, his mind clouded with anger and the bitter sting of rejection from Lucy.
"Time doesn't heal all wounds..." Gray muttered bitterly, stalking off, with Juvia racing after him.
Erza watched with a heavy heart as Lucy swiftly rose to her feet, her head angled down so her face wasn't visible. She dashed towards the door, her long strands of hair hiding her anguish-stricken face.
She stumbled out of the guild, her eyes unfocused and blurry. She brought a hand to her eyes and felt the slick wetness of tears coating her cheeks. She must have unconsciously started crying.
She wandered for awhile, not quite sure where she was, or where she was going. It didn't matter. She just knew she wanted to be far away from her fellow guildmates.
When she collapsed on a vegetation-covered slope, she recognized the roaring of the waterfall before her.
'Isn't this ironic...?' She thought bitterly to herself.
The grass she was kneeling on was a deep jade, it's color so potent it looked as if a child had colored it with their waxy crayon. The rumbling of the tumbling water called out to her, and she watched the waves overlap one another and tumble into the lagoon.
This was where it all started...Where the whole fiasco had been ignited. She remembered balling her eyes out in this exact spot, many, many years ago. She fingered a dazzling pink lily that sat planted next to the lagoon bed. It made her smile slightly.
"What are you doing...?" A voice jolted her out of her thoughts, and she turned her head to see Sting, who was looking at her questioningly. His inquiring glance dropped when he noticed the dried tear tracks on her cheeks.
"Why are you here...?" She questioned hoarsely, but he bluntly ignored her question.
"What happened?!" He asked with concern, rushing to her side. She sighed, and he plopped himself down beside her.
"Natsu went off about how immature I'm acting for being all mopey about the whole...Laxus thing."
Sting tsked and crossed his arms.
"Like that bastard has the right to call anyone immature. Has he looked in the mirror?" Sting retorted, causing a soft giggle to break past Lucy's lips.
"I suppose...but is he right, Sting? Have I been acting selfishly?" She asked, her eyes pleading for an answer. His response came immediately, no hesitation.
"You, are, and have never been selfish! Lucy, it's normal to feel sad and alone when someone you love leaves...Natshit can just fuck off! Don't listen to him!" He assured, placing a hand on her shoulder. She smiled up at him, before tenderly wrapping her arms around his midriff. A light pink dusted his cheeks.
Once they pulled apart and he regained his composure, Sting asked something she had expected from him.
"Laxus is gone...why do you stay?..." Sting asked gingerly, his azure orbs staring into her own kaleidoscope eyes.
"I...I honestly don't know anymore..." She confessed.
"The reality is, there isn't anything here for me anymore. Jellal is moving in with Erza, Juvia and Gray are together, Levy-chan and Gajeel too...and I am just here...not sure where I fall into the equation," Lucy said, her eyes trailing back to the sloshing water.
"You could come to Sabertooth, Lucy....I know you've never taken my offer seriously before, but maybe it's for the best. I'm guild master now, and you could get away from all this..."
Lucy smiled weakly. She couldn't ever see Sting without him attempting to convince her to desert her guild and join his own so they could be closer. But, unlike all the other times, she had no strong attachment to her guild. She knew that sounded mean...but it was true. It was different than when she thought everyone was dead. She had been driven by a sense of determination to make her deceased guildmates proud and to keep honor within their mighty guild. But, this time, there wasn't anything to focus her time on. No paperwork to do for Macao, no fighting off the crude bullies, no doing missions until she dropped of exhaustion, all in the hopes of ridding the guild of its debts.
Now, there were just the fake days in which she attempted to not completely break down. The nights that followed were marked by her sobbing fits, that tired out her very soul.
"I-You know I can't...what if he comes back?..." Lucy whispered, thinking of Laxus.
Sting sighed, pulling himself to his feet.
"If he's not back in two months, you'll come to Sabertooth."
Lucy didn't respond at first, but as he drew away from her, his keen ears picked up her whispy reply.
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Stronger Than You Think (Fairytail)Fanfiction
Lucy Heartfilia was never the strongest. She always knew she wasn't as strong as Erza, Natsu or Gray. Even little Wendy was more capable in a fight. She had always ignored this fact, trying to convince herself she wasn't weak. But when Lisanna Strau...