Part Two: Life Changes

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Lucy stood in the kitchen cooking breakfast for her team; even though they technically weren't mages Natsu and Gajeel still ate their respective elements. Hence the Carolina Reaper and habanero drenched fire chicken and molten metal smoothie-mixed in a seasoned cast iron cauldron outside-and homemade extra icy ice cream for Grey. This wasn't her first time cooking for her team and she doubted it would be her last.

While each of those 'meals' sat waiting for their respective eaters-Natsu's chicken lay in the fire, fumes long since chased everyone out except her, gaining extra crispy delight Natsu favored-she made breakfast for the 'normals' and Kurosaki household. Mainly waffles and eggs-and Japanese style strawberry shortcake-with kiwi-and strawberry-juice fit everyone else, of Fairy Tail at least. The Kurosaki's-and Happy-were going to eat a traditional style Japanese breakfast with extra broiled fish for Happy.

It was a wonder Isshin could support all of them-though Fairy Tail didn't live together they ate every meal with each other. None of her former guild mates had jobs yet they each had clothes, food, place to live, and were all enrolled in school. Except for her.

Everyone had tried talking her into enrolling in Karakura High, none had succeeded. She didn't see the point in attending and there was no Japanese law demanding she attend high school. Technically she had a university education. Despite the obvious language and grammar differences everything else wasn't that difficult for her or Levy to grasp. Though Levy chose to attend school to learn more and anything she might have missed.

Lucy instead went for helping around the house and acting as an on call nurse for any emergency patient while Yuzu Chan and Karin Chan were at school and during club activities. Also her mother had always told her to never be a freeloader. She had to earn her keep even if she couldn't get a job at her age that involve indecent acts acts. Thus for housekeeping and nurse duties, doing all this even meant Yuzu could be her age instead of mother of the household. Maybe her decision was a bit of an atonement for everything she had done after arriving. Either way she was no high school student.

Snapping herself from her inner reflections Lucy placed down her last rice filled bowl for the Kurosaki's. Every bamboo placemat set for Isshin and his family had an identical layout of food with only differences coming from individually colored chopsticks and soup spoons for each person.

Scattered around the table was her friends preferred places. Except for Natsu and Gajeel, their meals were eaten in the kitchen with her lest everything remotely metal be eaten or burned down. Grey are by the sliding glass patio doors leaning against chilled glass, winter was his season after all.

Everyone had flooded in taking their respective places, bid thanks and dig in. Her new family was dressed in their individual school uniforms while Isshin donned on a pale ice blue button down, a simple smile touched her face. This was always one of her favorite sights...
...until Natsu opened his mouth.

"You sure you don't want to go to school with us, Luce m? It'll be fun with you their. Pleeeaassseee, Lucy?" Natsu his puppy eyes up to their maximum frequency. Too bad Lucy was immune to them.

The blonde sighed, schooling wasn't for her. If only Natsu could understand that.

"He's right you know, you really should come to school with us, Lucy. You might enjoy it after all." Erza stated calmly, taking a dainty sip of her green tea. Her breakfast-a whole two tier Japanese style strawberry shortcake-long gone.

Lucy sighed in aggravation this time. No one understood her reasoning it seemed. This was not their first time conversation over her decision. She felt her patience dwindle; why couldn't they understand her?! She didn't want to go to school! No one could or would change her mind besides herself.

Her mouth opened to voice her decision again before Isshin best her to it.

"Now now children, let Lucy make her own choices. It's up to her if she goes or not, you can't change her mind." Isshin dabbed his mouth with his cloth napkin before gathering his dishes as he stood. "At ten we have a check up coming in, assistance will be needed, thank you for breakfast Lucy. Time to go kids." Isshin went to his office to begin his day.

One by one everybody followed his example knowing not to push further. They each handed her their breakfast wares, she placed them in an already filled sink to soak, before hugging each of them as her see you later.

When Ichigo's turn came she hugged him tighter and longer than the others. His breath tickled her ear as he whispered, her breath caught in her throat at the intimate moment.

"It's still not too late, you know." He murmured, each exhalation leaving tingles dancing along her spine. Lucy chuckled. Of course that's what he's doing. She felt slightly disappointed by his actions and words.

"I know, I'll think about it." She knew she wouldn't but she just couldn't bring herself to reject his suggestion.

Ichigo nodded his head releasing her from his arms with homemade bento box in hand. Last up we're her two adopted sisters, okay, so she didn't really adopt them but Isshin practically adopted her-unofficially of course...possibly illegally but, eh, semantics-so she still claimed them as sisters.

Karin-little tomboy that she was-shied away from her while Yuzu full on bear hugged Lucy. Lucy fervently returned the bear hug, Yuzu also happened to slip several stacks of rubber banded coupons into the pocket of Ichigo's old drawstring jogging pants. She liked his clothes and had forbidden Isshin buying her new ones-she wasn't a freeloader damnit-threatening him with unfiltered, anxious to fight Natsu.

Now Isshin Kurosaki was a kind hearted eccentric man who took to all her friend quite nicely. However, Natsu Etherious Dragneel was a completely different animal. Oh he was still the perfect father to all of them, Natsu just so happened to be a different brand of...eccentric didn't even begin to cover it. Anyway, pure, unadulterated Natsu was something Isshin could. Not. Handle.

Needless to say Isshin listened to her. Not that she'd actually make him deal with Natsu. Either way he hadn't bought her any clothes besides ones Orihime didn't wear anymore.

Lucy turned around after releasing her little cuties to begin cleaning the kitchen. And grocery shopping. Oh how far Lucy Heartfilia has come.

A/N in Japan there is no law for high school being mandatory. I looked this up and the only mandatory years first grade through ninth grade, everything after that is optional. And if you're wondering why Lucy is a 'housewife' well that's part of her recent character development that will be looked into more. Also I'd like to mention timing, in the manga this whole arc happened a year and a half after Aizen's defeat, that's been changed. Now it's more like two or three months after, and Ichigo isn't a third year, he's in the middle of his second year. Reasons for time change will also be addressed in later chapters. Thank you for reading and as always have a fantastic day/night

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