▶┆Chapter ninety-eight 
❝Like a star that fell from heaven, you were unlike anyone I'd ever known.❞
★·.·'¯'·.·★ иσямαℓ ρ.σ.ν. ★·.·'¯'·.·★
Blood. Destruction-it surrounded her. Lucy was shaking on her own legs. She was still clutching Sting, but she knew she had to face her fears. Lila and Kaden, along with the other Crimson Flag members had approached.
They stared at their unconscious master, and she expected them to be angry. For them to fight harder, for them to destroy her friends and herself. But she was shocked when they cheered. They hugged, and cried, and thanked her. Told her how grateful they were, for their freedom, and for her mercy on them.
Lucy gingerly tugged away from Sting, her only lifeboat in the crazy, uncontrollable ocean she had found herself in. She glanced at her friends and noticed the worried eyes. She felt somber, knowing it had been a very long time since anyone had looked at her with such care.
She was going to talk to them-run to them, and set things right. But first, she had to set some things straight. The blonde girl carefully strode over to Lila and Kaden, the former one nearly crying in her shock, and the latter so happy he was grinning.
"You two." Her words weren't kind-not even close. They flinched at her tone and glanced up to stare into two dead eyes.
"Did you really do this to me?"
Lila gulps, eyes anxious all of a sudden. She had just let go of her control on Kaden because they were free-oh god, they were free. No matter how angry Lucy was with them, Lila would never forget the blonde girl who had won them all their well-deserved freedom.
"Yes," Kaden answered her question but unintentionally brought her anger on him. Lila, despite still being a child, shifted in front of him to shield him from judgment.
"Lucy-nee, it isn't his fault! It was me! He wanted to stop, despite the consequences! I-I made him continue forcefully so he wouldn't be punished..."
Lucy's eyes narrowed at first. "Don't call me 'Lucy-nee' " Lucy snapped harshly. She breathed deeply, trying to calm herself down. She couldn't let the darkness swallow her whole-they had reasons why they did this. Their actions were inexcusable, but she could at least try to understand.
"I-I get why you two did what you did..." Lucy quietly muttered. Both their heads shoot up.
"But what you did...what you did hurt so many people..." Lucy swallows hard when she thinks of Laxus. She struggles to not glance back at his body on the ground. She would go to him next. To say goodbye...
"What you did is inexcusable, and I don't know if I'm going to ever be ready to forgive you..."
"I'm sorry Lucy...for everything," Kaden whispered, and Lila couldn't prevent her shameful tears from falling.
Lucy, despite everything, felt pity. She felt pity for these two sad, children. Kaden was her age, but he was so broken and lonely, she couldn't help but feel sympathy.
"I want you two to go." They stare at her in confusion and sadness. "I want you two to go find happiness," She continues.
"Enjoy your freedom, enjoy finally being able to go where you want, and do what you want!" Lucy smiles brightly and grabs both of their hands. They're both crying, despite their attempts at wiping away their tears.
"Someday, when all of this isn't as painful, I'll come to see you two. But right now...I've got things to fix. I just want you two to go...because as much as I am furious about what happened, I can't seem to hold onto any hate right now...and I don't think I should."
Laxus wouldn't want me to hate. Lucy felt numb at the moment to her once-powerful rage-her emotions had cooled off, and now, she watched as Kaden squeezed her hand back and promised to be safe. He took Lila's hand and walked off.
Maybe she should have gotten her revenge on them. She should be infuriated with them, she should hate them. They had ruined her life after all-but she couldn't seem to hate them. No matter how hard she tried, she realized that they were just two broken children enslaved by Crimson Flag. She had seen the way the master had treated them-well, mostly Kaden since he had spoken to her more.
She wished for happiness for these two people. And when she looked at her friends, she realized that despite all the pain they had all suffered, things were going to be okay.
Everything would be just fine.
Lucy finally looked back at Laxus.
With every step she took towards him, her guildmates continued to look at her worriedly as if she'd fall apart like a paper house soon. And if she were being honest, she was scared she'd fall apart too.
She sat next to his battered form and rested her head against his chest.
"I'm so sorry..." She said softly, her tears coming out without her permission. "This is all my fault..."
Lucy can barely see through her tears as she sobs into his chest. "Please, Laxus, you can't be dead! Please, you have to come back to me. No life is worth living without you in it!"
Her voice is cracking, and for once in her life, she wishes she had never gone to Fairy Tail. Not even when she had felt outcasted and alone did she wish she had never gone there-because of the people she had met that had made the pain worth it. But now...now she just wished she had never gone there, so Laxus never would have felt such pain. Lucy wished that she had never barged into his life because maybe he'd be alive and happy back at the guild if she didn't exist.
"Laxus...why did you have to leave me so soon?" Lucy prays for an answer. For his voice to say something-anything. But the silence prevails, and nobody utters a single word. Lucy was familiar with loss, but she had never expected to feel it so strongly now.
As a child, she had always been so certain that love was a strength. That it made you powerful, and kind, and invincible. But now she saw that although she was correct, it also came with a price. Love was also a great weakness.
A great weakness that could lead to anguish, and broken tears as you struggled to repair emotional wounds that refused to heal.
Laxus coughed suddenly, and Lucy felt every part of her body explode with relief and pure joy.
She couldn't think.
She couldn't breathe.
He was okay! He was alive, and-
Her tears became more unstable as he started to wake up. Everyone was rushing over soon enough. Some were crying, some were exhaling in relief. And some only smiled because, despite the odds, Laxus was still alive.
Although her magic power was still near empty, she powered up a healing spell. It would be enough to keep him alive-at least she hoped so.
He opened his eyes blearily, and the first face he saw was Lucy's as her tears dripped onto his chest. She was a mess, with blonde hair matted with blood, and face smeared with grime. But, she was still the most beautiful person he had ever seen.
"Doesn't anybody check a pulse anymore?" His voice was rough and scratchy, but his small smile made her feel like things were going to actually be alright.
She couldn't help the broken laugh that escaped her when she grabbed his hand and felt the warmth return to it.
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