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A few days later..

Lucy's POV

"You're sure you didn't see him leave?" I ask Gray. "For the millionth time, no I didn't. I don't know why you keep asking me, my answer's never going to change!" Gray snaps at me. "I know, I'm sorry." I say as I slump down in my seat. "Gray! Don't snap at her! I get that this is a tough time, but you don't need to take that anger out on anyone!" Erza bossed. Gray sighs. "Sorry." I shake my head. "No, Gray's right. His answer isn't going to change. Besides..." I burry my face in my arms. "It's my fault anyways. If I wasn't so distracted, I would've been able to keep an eye on him..." I scrunch my arms tighter.

I feel a hand on my shoulder. "It's alright. It wasn't completely you. We're all at fault here. Besides, it was your first job. Things go wrong." Mira comforts me. "B-but he was-"

"He knew what he was getting himself into. None of us could've stopped him." Erza also tries to comfort me. "I do wonder why he was so obsessed with fighting Mr. Heartfillia. I guess we'll never know." That was all it took.

I get up. "Excuse me, I'm going to go use the restroom." I walk away quickly, heading to the office room. I know people are confused and a bit suspicious about me, but I didn't care. I just needed a break from it all. I needed Natsu.

I walked into his office, looking at the empty place. The lighting was dull, even the sky was gray and cloudy. It just seemed so... unreal.

"Damn it!" I slam my fist on his desk, causing papers to fly. I take a deep breath and notice the door open. "Lucy." Levy says sternly, walking in. "What do you want, Levy." I snap. I can tell that she's taken aback, but she continues. "I'm worried for you, Lu. You haven't been yourself." I chuckle. "Again? How many times do I have to tell you that I'm fine! I know he's out there. I just have to-"

"Lucy, stop." Levy interrupts me. I look at her. "What do you mean? He was never confirmed dead, he was just missing. I know he'll come back. He did promise me, and promises are never broken." I convince Levy, although I know I'm just trying to convince myself. "Lucy, you sound like a madman." I glare at her. "I am not crazy. The fact that you of all people would even consider that. I'm not the one who was with two different men at once!" I sneer at her. Levy gasps. "Now, back to what I was saying. If I leave tomorrow I can-"

"He's DEAD Lucy! And there was nothing you could do to stop it." Levy yells, snapping me out of my trance. "Levy..." I murmur.

"I'm sorry Lucy, but I can't watch this anymore. Your slowly destroying yourself and it pains me to just watch you. I know, it's hard, but you need to pull yourself together. What would Natsu think if you-"

"Get out.." I mumble. "What?" Levy looks at me, confused. "I said, GET OUT. YOU'LL NEVER UNDERSTAND OUR RELATIONSHIP, NOT NOW, NOT EVER!" I yell with tears in my eyes. "SO GO TAKE YOUR IGNORANCE ELSEWHERE, I DON'T NEED IT, I DON'T NEED YOU!" At this point tears were blinding my sight. I fall on my knees and put my arms down. I look at the floor, Shocked at what I had just said. To my best friend.

I began to sob and felt arms wrap around me. "I-I'm sorry, I just..." I couldn't say anything. I was too submerged in my own grief to even feel. To even think. "Shh... it's alright."

It's funny, I normally always had something in my mind, some sort of game plan. But now I couldn't think of anything. I couldn't feel anything. It just all felt numb, and not in a good way.

I stay in Levy's grasp for a minute. I hadn't had a chance to fully grieve or come to the realization that he's truly gone. It just hit me now, and it was more painful than I could ever imagine it to be.

"I'm the one who should be apologizing." Levy sighs. "I forced you and I was completely out of line. I really shouldn't have done that. I'm sorry." I bury my face closer into her chest as I think of a simpler time.

Flashback
I was in my room, writing in my notebook when I heard something being thrown at the window. It was a rock. I opened my window and looked down. I saw Natsu, but he looked more different than normal.

I let down a rope to help him climb up. When he got to my window, he crawled through and collapsed on my floor. "Omg, what happened to you?!?" I say anxiously, helping him sit up.

"It's nothing... I'm fine.." he rasps between coughs. He had a bruised cheek with some cuts and scratches all over his face. His left eye was swelling a bit, and I could feel a knot at the top of his head. His fists were bruised also. "Don't tell me you got into another fight..." I frown. "What? I had to. Those guys were lying about you." He pouts. "So what? They're probably right anyways..." I trail off. "No, they're not! I'll prove it to you! Let's see...."

Natsu ponders for a few seconds before coming up with an idea. "For starters, your stunning. I mean who in their right mind wouldn't see you beauty?! You have long, golden hair with these brown eyes that seem to sparkle almost everyday." Natsu points out my features. "And who could forget your gorgeous smile. It seems to light up every room you walk in!" He exclaims as I giggle. "You have brains and knowledge that could stump even the smartest teachers, and you have the purest heart that I've ever seen."

I smile at his little outburst. "Thank you, Natsu. I needed that." Natsu grins at me. "Anytime!" I smile before pushing him towards my bed. "Now come on slowpoke! Those wounds aren't going to clean themselves!" I order. Natsu groans.

"But Lucyyy... I told you I'm fine!" He pouts. "I'm not buying that for a second." Natsu sighs and I giggle.

After I tend to his wounds, we end up chatting on my bed, talking about new teachers, schoolwork, and just life in general.

"Lucy!" I flinch as I hear my father call me. His footsteps approach closer. I quickly stuff Natsu into my closet and shush him. I close the door and hop on my bed, pretending to study.

The door barges open and my father comes inside. I flinch before gathering myself. "Yes father?" I look up, slightly shaking. "I saw your listing today. You didn't get the top score." His voice seemed like it was on the verge of anger. "I'm sorry... I'll try harder next time-" I feel my cheek sting. He slapped me.

"When I ask for you to study, I don't mean for you to go play with butterflies. I mean for you to study!" I nod my head. "I'm sorry-"

"Sorry isn't going to cut it! Your so useless! I should've put you up for adoption when Layla died. That would be less of a burden!" He yells at me.

He straightens his tie and gains his composure. "Well then, the next time I come back, you better be at the top of your class. Got that?" I nod quickly, trying to avoid further punishment.

He the walks away. I wait for a minute before whispering. "You can come out now..." Natsu slowly crawls out of the closet. He sees that I'm clearly upset and wraps his arms around me, trying to comfort me.

"You know, the way he treats you is not okay..." Natsu whispers. I chuckle. "You say that all the time." I reply. Natsu sighs. "I could teach him the right way if you wanted...." I shake my head. "No thanks, I'm good." I start to shiver thinking of what would happen if Natsu did confront my Dad.

A few moments pass by. "Hey, are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." I sniffle.

"Are you sure?"

"Positive."

"Okay then..." Natsu gives me a worried glance before shaking it off. "I have to get going, see you tomorrow?" I wipe my face. "Yeah..." he nods and says a quick goodbye before jumping out of my window.

End of Flashback

"You know Levy, Natsu always did fight for me, and he'd always get badly injured. But he'd always be okay. Now, he's actually gone. I'll never get to see his kind onyx eyes again. His unruly hair, his muscles, it's all gone...." I sniffle at the realization. "Shh..."

"At least he gets to see his father, right?" I mumble. "I can't believe I was going to get married. So much for a happy ending.." I start to break. Levy squeezes me tighter. "It hurts Levy... so bad.." Levy brushes my back. "I know, and it sucks, but all we can do now is hope he's in good place." I clutch on to Levy and begin to cry again.

When will the pain end...?

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